His life was in danger. Men on horseback intercepted him in midflight. This fugitive was abducted by masked highway men. They ushered him into the custody of the lord of the castle. There wasn't much time. They had to act quickly. The prisoner was put into a cell away from the rest. "Write quickly, " his captors told him, "We can not guarantee how long you have. It's up to you." The prisoner set to work translating the New Testament, completing the translation of the remainder of the Bible only 10 months. Who was this man? It was Martin Luther. His captors were friends under the leadership of Fredrick III at Wartburg castle. He had been labeled an outlaw, authorization to kill him without legal consequence was issued. Luther was running from the religious authorities who were losing control over the people in Germany. They demanded he be brought into custody as a heretic.
My husband and I learned about this when we visited the castle in Wartburg. What struck me was how his friends had risked their lives to aid Luther's ministry of translating the Bible. God had provided a peaceful, safe way for Luther to do his work. In the midst of the abuses of the state Church, Luther provided freedom from the slavery of indulgences by rule of the Roman Catholic church in the 1500's. It drew opposition by those who benefited from the indulgence system. There was a lot of power and control. And God provided peace. Solace for Luther to do his work and peace for those oppressed by the system during the Reformation.
Do you feel like there is no solace, no place of peace to retreat under pressure? Seek solace through God's people and His house. A good church home is an oasis just waiting for you. The Bible says, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) Let Him take you under His wing.
Do you have this peace, but know someone who needs help finding it? Reach out to that person. Enlist the appropriate help if necessary. No one should feel like they must remain in dire straits. Elsewhere God's Words says, "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) Believers are the arms and feet of Christ in this world.
When researching Advent, I found this from "Our Daily Bread" December 1, 2011 written by Julie Ackerman Link: "During Advent, we emphasize hope, peace, joy, and love, which God sent with Christ.
HOPE. We have an inheritance reserved in heaven, a living hope through the resurrection of Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3-5).
PEACE. We will love life and see good days if we turn from evil and do good and if we seek peace, for the Lord watches over the righteous and hears their prayers (3:10-12).
"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things."
JOY. We have inexpressible joy even though we have trials because our faith is being tested and prove genuine. The end of this faith is the salvation of our souls (1:6-9).
LOVE. We can love one another with a pure heart because we have been born again through the Word of God which lives and abides forever (1:22-23)."
I would like to focus on these passages through the Advent season. May God bless you!
Sites to see:
http://www.wartburg-eisenach.de/frame_wn.htm and the information given by the tour guide.