Carl Trueman, in his lectures on the Reformation, points out that though Luther said in 1520 that liturgy should be in the vernacular, he didn’t make that change until 5 years later, in 1525.
Why wait 5 years before making a change Luther was convicted was necessary?
“People are disturbed enough by what’s going on. The game of Christian education is to get people to where they need to be. It is not to disturb them, it’s to draw them gently to where they need to be.”
Trueman says that for Luther, the pastor should:
“use the language with which people are familiar, but we fill it with new content, in a new context. If you like, we slowly but surely subvert them…
…You don’t go in and hammer people with the new jargon. What you do is use the language they’ve got, but you slowly and surely transform it into meaning what you want it to mean.”
Roland Bainton on Martin Luther’s view of communion:
“The sacrament for him was not a chunk of God fallen like a meteorite from heaven. God does not need to fall from heaven because he is everywhere present throughout his creation as a sustaining and animating force, and Christ as God is likewise universal, but his presence is hid from human eyes. For that reason God has chosen to declare himself unto mankind at three loci of revelation. The first is Christ, in whom the Word was made flesh. The second is Scripture, where the Word uttered is recorded. The third is the sacrament, in which the Word is manifest in food and drink. The sacrament does not conjure up God as the witch of Endor but reveals him where he is.”
In 1521 Martin Luther wrote:
This life, therefore, is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness; not health, but healing; not being, but becoming; not rest, but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.