Leave it to Luther to tell the truth like no one else can, or has…
“In this life Christ is incomprehensible. He rewards his best ministers in such a way that I must say I hardly know what I am about, whether I preach aright or not. This tormented St. Paul too. He didn’t talk much about it to others, I think. He couldn’t talk about it, for who can imagine what he meant when he said, ‘I die every day’ [I Cor. 15:31].”
It was said in Lochau that six hundred of the richest parishes in the diocese of Würzburg are vacant. He [Luther] commented, “This will have bad consequences. It will happen among us, too, if contempt for the Word and its ministers continues to be so great. If I wanted to get rich under these circumstances I wouldn’t preach but would be a juggler and travel about the country. For the sake of money I’d have plenty of spectators.
And still there’s this-
When there was talk about contempt for the Word of God among peasants, noblemen, and townspeople, he [Martin Luther] said, “Such contempt ought to be both a consolation and a warning to us, so that we give thanks to God for the blessing of being among those who love his Word, diligently hear and learn God’s Word, and find delight in the Holy Scriptures. For it is a great punishment and a severe judgment of God if a man so hates God and his Word that he is unwilling to hear it and neither honors nor esteems the ministers of the Word.”
So, Mark Stevens, this is for you. Just because.