First Sunday in Lent
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God 656/657
The ‘Battle Hymn of the Reformation” is Luther’s paraphrase of Psalm 46. Christians are soldiers in the war against “the old evil foe,” who “Now means deadly woe,” and who has no equal on earth; they have dire need of spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10–17) and a fortress that is the LORD. No one can stand before this foe, but he has been defeated by the right man, Jesus Christ, upon the cross. Since Satan is the accuser and father of lies (John 8:44; Revelation 12:10), Luther tells us the word that can destroy him and his works, “LIAR” (see Against Hanswurst, AE XLI, 186). Though the devil would snatch away the Word of God, yet that Word forever stands firm alongside the Spirit and his gifts. The gifts and promises of Christ are so great they surpass any loss that Christians have, even of “goods, fame, child, and wife.” The kingdom of God, his church, still belongs to those who believe in Christ, now and into eternity.
Rev. Thomas E. Lock serves as Kantor/Assistant Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Denver, Colorado.