Luther and Christmas



    The Lutheran Journal, Vol. 51, #3, 1984 - Erwin Weber


The cover photo taken by me in Wittenberg, shows Mary, Joseph and the Christ child lying in the manger. This is a detail from a painting titled "The Nativity", by Lucas Cranach the Younger created in 1564, now located in the City Church in Wittenberg, which Luther called his own.

This article explains the painting of the Nativity, an epitaph to Caspar Niemegk and his wife, and concentrates on Luther's sermon on the Christmas Gospel in Luke 2:1-14.

In addition, the article makes a few comments about an epitaph to Paul Eber and his family, a painting by Cranach the Younger in 1569 titled "The Vineyard of the Lord". It is also located in the city Church in Wittenberg. It shows a vineyard divided by a fence. At the left are representatives of the Medieval Church destroying it. At the right is Luther with a rake and other Reformers taking care of the plants by watering them and pulling out the weeds.