Martin Luther’s “Invocavit Sermons”

Luther Faith Love Hope Meme#OTD March 9, 1522, Invocavit Sunday, Martin Luther begins a series of “Invocavit Sermons” designed to encourage people to trust in the Word of God rather than violence as a reformation tool.

These sermons helped restore tranquility and order, thus accomplishing Luther’s task of leading “his congregation away from fanatical enthusiasm back to the spirit of the gospel.”

Here are a few lines from the sermons:

“…we must also have love and through love we must do to one another as God has done to us through faith. For without love faith is nothing, as St. Paul says, If I had the tongues of angels and could speak of the highest things in faith, and have not love, I am nothing. And here, dear friends, have you not grievously failed? I see no signs of love among you, and I observe very well that you have not been grateful to God for his rich gifts and treasures…I notice that you have a great deal to say of the doctrine of faith and love which is preached to you, and this is no wonder; an ass can almost intone the lessons, and why should you not be able to repeat the doctrines and formulas? Dear friends, the kingdom of God,—and we are that kingdom—does not consist in talk or words but in activity, in deeds, in works and exercises. For a faith without love is not enough…we also need patience. For whoever has faith, trusts in God, and shows love to his neighbor, practicing it day by day, must needs suffer persecution…A heart thus blessed with virtues can never rest or restrain itself, but rather pours itself out again for the benefit and service of the brethren, just as God has done to it.”

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