Young Luther's Christmas

On December 22, 1898 the New York Observer wished its readers a “Merry Merry Christmas to All.” Following that wish was a wonderful gift.  On every page of the Observer was something to direct the reader’s thoughts to the reason for the season.  And on page 818 there is a poem called, “Young Luther’s Christmas” written by a well-known theologian (whose name appears at the bottom - and it's not mine!).  This poem has likely not been reprinted since 1898 – so enjoy!


Young Luther’s Christmas


‘Twas grand old Martin Luther said-

“There’s naught on earth more sweet to see

Than a loving woman’s tender way,

Whose heart is filled with piety.”


He’d found it so that dreadful night,

When, up and down the frozen streets,

He sang his choicest songs for bread,

‘Mid biting winds and beating sleets,


Yet ever found he sang in vain,

And touched no heart, but only got,

Instead of bread to soothe his soul,

A “Stone” for his unpitied lot.


When Lo! from out a goodly house

A flute note on a mission sped:

He stopped, and, softened by the sound,

Yet once more sang his song for bread;


“The foxes to their holes have gone,

And every bird unto its nest,

But I still wander here alone,

And still for me there is no rest.”


“My Christ was hungry, He was poor,

And I but follow where He led,

And He will feed me from His store,

And daily gave me daily bread.”


“A child’s voice surely,” quoth the dame

The weary wanderer found his rest

Oh, good dame Colta! Dost thou know

How by thy deed a world was blest?


Dame Ursula, an angel thou,

An angel didst from want relieve;

A world has shared in thy reward,

A world’s deep gratitude receive!


God’s love to Luther came in need,

God’s love through love of woman true;

God’s love can never fail His own,

Can we not be its channel too?


Oh, men and women, to whose hands

The Lord commits His wealth to keep,

Remember that ye stewards are,

And not your own the gains ye reap.


Oh, men and women, for whose souls

The Christ has given His life, in love,

Give freely of your lesser things, -

He will not fail to mark above.


 Princeton                               Benjamin B. Warfield

Jeffrey A. Stivason is the pastor of Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gibsonia, PA. He also holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA.  Jeff is the author of From Inscrutability to Concursus (P&R), he has contributed to The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Eerdmans) and is the Executive Editor for Place for Truth.

Jeffrey Stivason