Ronda Wenzel, of San Antonio, TX, is the guest blogger today. Each month she writes, for her synod, a brief item beginning with a song from the "Luther: The Rock Opera."
Students! (No trouble at all)“No trouble at all…” the very phrase in English implies that there is DEFINITELY going to be at least SOME trouble. The next song to engage with from Luther: The Rock Opera is “Students!” In this song, the narrator is speaking to Elector Frederick about how to really put Wittenberg on the map. Wittenberg, in 1513, is already known for Frederick’s whopping collection of odd relics which pilgrims could “adore” to score points that would shorten their time in Purgatory. And Wittenberg had a new University (every electorate town needs a university, Frederick knew that)… but a little extra “somethin’ somethin’” was needed: Luther!“Hey!,” the singer points out, “Why don’t you get that smart young mind, Martin Luther, to teach at the University? He’ll bring in STUDENTS and they’ll boost this backwater town to a higher level. Martin Luther won’t be any trouble at all.” When Martin moved to Wittenberg, it was the humblest and least populous place Luther had ever lived.Luther began teaching at the University and showed himself to be exactly what they had thought: very bright and very capable. His responsibilities grew and grew: professor, preacher, the vicar of eleven area monasteries… he was even the “warden of a fish-pond in Torgau.” As promised, Luther was “no trouble at all” to Elector Frederick. The University did expand and Wittenberg grew in prestige.Luther continued to read, study and pray… always searching for perfection in all he did, in order to please God. It is thought that his mentor, von Staupitz, gave Luther so many responsibilities to keep Luther’s mind from endlessly enumerating his many perceived sins. But we, here, in the 21st century know that Frederick did in fact have a "troublemaker" on his hands. Luther turned out to be a lot of trouble for Frederick, turning the eye of Rome toward his little town… but we’re not there yet… Luther hasn’t had his “on the john” experience at this point… he’s still a fastidious, pious thinker.Come visit the University where Luther taught! Walk with us down the streets he would have walked as he ran hither and yon to preach at the Town Church and teach at the Leucorea which is what the University was called in Luther's day -- the Greek translation of Wittenberg, or White Mountain -- when it because the most important university in all of Europe.
The next Luther500 Fest will be happening in June 14-20 of 2021 in Wittenberg and Worms, Germany. We'll spend a couple of days of the week in Worms since 2021 marks the 500th Anniversary of the Imperial Diet at Worms where Luther spoke his well-remembered words, "Here I Stand." Registration is open now. The trip is especially great for those of you at your particular church who may have tried to get a Luther trip put together, but couldn’t get quite enough people signed up to make it work… you can sign up with just a handful for the Luther500 Fest and enjoy the fantastic programs and sights with others. Read more about it at Luther500Fest.comYou can listen to Luther: The Rock Opera! on Spotify or YouTube.“Students! Bring the town energy! Frederick: Yeah, but what’s the cost to me??Students! Not hawkers and gawkers. Students! More thinkers and talkers…Luther! A very sharp young mind. Luther! Trying to leave the law behindMartin Luther won’t be any trouble at all… there can be trouble when you educate a restless man… “