With Reformation Day coming up, the following quote from C. F. W. Walther is timely:
“But, my friends, the fact that the Lutheran Reformation was an actual and therefore a complete one is …important for us… because it comforts and encourages us in the face of the deterioration under which the church of the Reformation suffers at the present time. For if the Reformation was a work of God, which anyone can easily see who compares it with God’s Word, why should we be discouraged? Men may mock and despise such a work, but they cannot destroy it. People may forsake the fortress of our church and rob themselves of their heavenly treasures, but they cannot destroy this fortress. It stands in the midst of the ocean of the world, exposed to the waves of unbelief and error, assailed by the most fearful weapons of the mighty and wise of the world, hidden by the very clouds of heaven, withdrawn from the eyes of men by the smoke of battle, covered with offences, yes already seeming to totter. But, take heart! It does not fall, because it is built on a rock which lies deeper than the ocean of the world, upon the rock of the words of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ the cornerstone, upon the rock of the eternal Word of God itself. For God’s Word is nothing else than Luther’s doctrine, and Luther’s doctrine is nothing else than God’s Word. Why then should we despair? For “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, but the Word of the Lord endureth forever.”
From a Reformation Day sermon preached in 1858 (Thanks to Clarrie Priebbenow & Peter Ziebell for alerting me to this passage via their newsletter).
Walther is one of the most powerful writers on practical theology I have read, perhaps second only to Luther. Unfortunately, we only seem to have extracts from his sermons available in English; it would be very beneficial for the church at the present time to have a volume or two of his sermons in English (I believe there may have been a volume published 20 or so years ago for the centenary of his death, but it has long been out of print.)
Clicking on the post title should take you to a volume of daily devotions taken from Walther's sermons published by Concordia. I recommend it.
Addendum: Seems like the good folks at Concordia read my mind, they have made that volume of sermons available again, albeit on a print on demand basis.