Luther’s Seal

The next window in our photo gallery is the Luther’s Seal window, a symbol of Lutheranism. While a professor at Wittenburg, Luther devised this seal which he declared was meant to be expressive of his theology. This explanation is the gift of a letter written to his friend, Herr Spengler, town clerk of Nuremberg.

The first thing expressed in my seal is a cross, black, within the heart, to put me in mind that faith in Christ crucified saves us. + Now, although the cross is black, mortified and intended to cause pain, yet it does not change the color of the heart, does not destroy nature, does not kill, but keeps alive – “For the just shall live by faith” – by faith in our Savior. + But this heart is fixed upon the center of a white rose, to show that faith causes joy, consolation and peace. The rose is white, not red, because white is the color of all angels and blessed spirits. + This rose, moreover, is fixed in a sky of blue, to denote that such joy of faith in the spirit is but an earnest and beginning of heavenly joy to come, as anticipated and held by hope, though yet not revealed. Blue, a color of loyalty and truth, encouraging one to live loyal to our God within the truth of Christ’s salvation. + And around this field of blue is a golden ring, to signify that such bliss in heaven is endless, and more precious than all joys and treasures, since gold is the best and most precious metal. Christ, our dear Lord, He will give grace unto eternal life.

You are invited to ponder this “seal.” Perhaps we could also ask ourselves:

“What would my seal look like?”

“How could I express my faith in words, symbols and pictures?”

“What legacy will I leave for others about my life and faith?”