My fellow Patheos blogger Scott McKnight has posted Ruth Tucker’s essay “Martin Luther and Christmas,” which considers both the myths and the realities of Luther’s contributions to this holiday. She quotes these moving lines from his Nativity sermon of 1530:
If Christ had arrived with trumpets and lain in a cradle of gold, his birth would have been a splendid affair. But it would not be a comfort to me. He was rather to lie in the lap of a poor maiden and be thought of little significance in the eyes of the world. Now I can come to him. Now he reveals himself to the miserable in order not to give any impression that he arrives with great power, splendor, wisdom, and aristocratic manners.
Illustration: “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst (1622) [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons