16 August 2009

Katie Luther

On Oct 4, 1529, Luther was at a conference discussing the significance of the Lord's Supper with Zwingli and Oecolampadius. He wrote home to his wife, calling her "Dear Sir Katie!" The editor footnotes:

To the modern reader this form of address may sound quite awkward, especially since Catherine Luther was neither a doctor nor a preacher. These phrases lose their point, however, if they are interpreted as jokes, or as an allusion to Catherine's noble birth. Catherine had become for Luther a person of extreme importance, not only as mistress of his house, or as mother of his beloved children, but, and this above all, as spiritual companion. In her quiet, direct, confident, and sometimes blunt way she was both preacher and teacher to Luther, their children, and their friends; more than once she helped Luther to deal with his religious tensions and fears. (LW 49:236)

Who would Luther have been without Katie? How many of the great names through the ages made such a powerful mark on history largely due, under God, to their wives? I think of Sarah, for instance, Jonathan Edwards' wife.

And I am reminded what a gift of mercy my own dear Stacey is, such an encouragement and help to me.

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