More Than Meets the Eye

From ivory palaces stringed instruments make You glad.
PSALM 45:8
More Than Meets the Eye
Our King Christ does not have a palace made of "clay, wood, or stubble" (1 Corinthians 3:12), such as our people construct, but of ivory. For who would believe that the church at Wittenberg, Kemberg, and other places where Baptism and the Word are, is in God's eyes an ivory palace? Yet it actually is. For Baptism is not something inane; neither is the Word, nor the government of the Church; nor is the comfort of the downtrodden something meaningless. If you wish to judge by external appearances, what do you see here at Wittenberg of value? You see nothing splendid about the church; the city is actually built of clay, and yet it is an ivory palace of Christ. So even the poorest village in which there is a pastor and some believers is a palace of ivory. But in order to see this, you need other than physical eyes. Its value cannot be determined by appearance, by the judgment of the five senses or reason, nor by laws, nor by the arts or philosophy; but according to God's Word—by the fact that the Word is there, Baptism, the Eucharist, divine governance, the consolation of consciences, the fear of God, trust in God, waiting upon God, the imitation of Christ, and the like. You should look around for these things, and when you see them somewhere, do not let external appearance or anything else influence you, but simply conclude: "Here is Christ in palaces of ivory; here Christ dwells."

From Lectures on Psalm 45 (Luther's Works 12:255)
June 20
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