A Most Beautiful Transformation

At Your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
PSALM 45:9
A Most Beautiful Transformation
[The psalmist] calls the bride "the queen," [Christ's] spouse. She stands as though all in gold. This bride is the Church. . .. This is common usage, that Christ is called the Bridegroom and the Church, the bride, as in Ephesians 5:23ff., and other passages. He calls her through Holy Baptism and the Word of the Gospel, and adorns and clothes her with mercy, grace, and the remission of sins. That is what [the psalmist] means when he says, "She stands at Thy right hand." It is a magnificent compliment, and it is also appropriate that no one be nearer the bridegroom than the bride herself. But the principal thing is that the Church has everything that is Christ's and that two bodies have become one, so that what belongs to the Church is Christ's and in the same way what belongs to Christ is the Church's. . .. What, then, does Christ have? Indeed, eternal righteousness, wisdom, power, truth, life, joy, grace. The Church, therefore, is mistress and queen of mercy, life, salvation, and all things. . .. The Church reigns over death, sin, hell, the devil, and over all the terrors and evils in demons and in men, not by her own strength or merits, but by her Bridegroom, Christ. He has placed all these loveliest ornaments about her neck and has trampled death underfoot for her, has given her life, and by His blood has freed her from all dangers. So she has all these things from her Bridegroom and rightly says to heretics: "Mine is the wisdom"; to the Gentiles: "Mine is the righteousness"; to the Jews: "Mine is worship and piety"; to death: "Mine is life"; to sin: "Mine is the remission of sins"; to the Law: "Mine is liberty"; to fears: "Mine is peace and joy, not by myself or my own strength, but through Jesus Christ, my Bridegroom." This is a most beautiful transformation, that the Church, miserable in the eyes of men, should be so richly adorned in the eyes of God.

From Lectures on Psalm 45 (Luther's Works 12:259-61)
June 21
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