Monday, December 21, 2009

Luther on Dying

“…since everyone must depart, we must turn our eyes to God, to whom the path of death leads and directs us.  Here we find the beginning of the narrow gate and the straight path to life (Mt. 7:14).  All must joyfully venture forth on this path, for though the gate is quite narrow, the path is no long.  Just as an infant is born with peril and pain from the small abode of its mother’s womb into this immense heaven and earth, that is, into this world, so man departs this life through the narrow gate of death.  And although the heavens and the earth in which we dwell at present seem large and wide to us, they are nevertheless much narrower and smaller than the mother’s womb in comparison with the future heaven.  Therefore, the death of the dear saints is called a new birth, and their feast day is known in Latin as natale, that is, the day of their birth.”[1] – Martin Luther

[1] Martin Luther “A Sermon on Preparing to Die” AE 42:99.

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