Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 03, 2012

Symbolism of the Luther Rose

 Many Protestant Christians feel a special, spiritual connection to the symbols of their particular faith. Perhaps this is because the “Reformation” faiths (again I am referring to the Calvinist faiths and to Lutheranism, though I know there were others such as the Anabaptists who began as a Protestant branch) produced such a great number of steadfast Christians who would die before abandoning their beliefs. Perhaps it is because the knowledge of these martyrs and of the struggles our faiths underwent in these early years fills Protestants with a fierce loyalty and devotion to the cause our ancestors championed so well.

Thus, one of my religious pendants that I particularly like is a cross featuring the Luther Rose (or Luther Seal). This is the most recognizable symbol of Lutheranism and has a fascinating story beginning in 1530 with the creation of Martin Luther's personal seal. The basic description of the Rose is of a black cross inside a red heart, surrounded by white flower petals on a blue background, finished with a gold circle.

The black cross signifies the blackness of sin. The heart in which it lies proudly proclaims that we are rescued from our transgressions by the heart of Jesus. The white rose is a symbol of peace and happiness, signifying that belief in Christ ignites an insurmountable inner light that can never be extinguished, as well as providing the Christian with abounding joy. White was chosen because of its association as the color of purity. Blue signifies heaven, which Christians can anticipate, while the gold “ring” symbolizes the unending joy of eternity.

The Luther Rose, Martin Luther's personal seal created in 1530

When I wear the Luther Rose, I’m not wearing it simply to declare myself a believer of a particular faith, though that is of course a main reason. I’m also wearing it to show that I connect myself with that first movement, that first explosion of free thought, the birth-pangs of what would become the Protestant Reformation. I wear it proudly.

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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