A few weeks ago, I received the Playmobil Martin Luther that I had ordered. He wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
He looks fine now as he sits on the bookshelf in my office, but when he arrived, he was in pieces. Body. Hat. Quill. Bible. Cape. Little cuffs. All in a small plastic bag.
Guess it hadn’t really struck me that Little Luther is a TOY. Maybe he’d rather be doing something more exciting than standing on a shelf, grinning politely by the reference books.
That gave me an idea. What if he interacted with other Playmobil friends?
This past week, my nephew and niece, Will and Greta, came for a visit with the rest of their family and brought their Playmobil toys along. I’m including here a few snapshots of Luther and the gang, each accompanied by a Luther quotation (or maybe I should say “Luther” quotation—more on that later).
We'll begin with the astronaut.
1. Rocketman! You of all people should understand my plight. “They are trying to make me into a fixed star. I am an irregular planet.”
2. Princess! I have a paradox for you about lords and subjects: “A Christian is the most free lord of all, and subject to none. A Christian is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone” (Freedom of a Christian).
What? Yes, of course I can explain, but maybe we should sit.
3. This crown may seem inappropriate, but as I like to say, “Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing” (Letter to Jerome Weller).
Frankly, the crown makes me laugh. “If you can’t laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.”
4. No really, take the quill, please! “I frankly confess that even if it were possible I should not wish to have free choice given to me, or to have anything left in my own hands by which I might strive for salvation.” (Bondage of the Will)
5. What’s this? A pink fan? Really? Well. “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.”
6. Ahoy, Pirate! What a fine life you lead! As I’ve said before, “He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.”
Okay, wait a minute.
Did Luther really say that?
Like several of the quotations here, this one is attributed to Luther, but there’s no source identified. Where did Luther say it? (On a related note, how can quotations like this circulate for so long and be repeated in so many places without a source identified? Ugh.)
If you can find a source for 1, 3 (second half), and 5, let me know. As for the “wine, women, and song” line, I’m dumping it. It’s been attributed to Luther, but the attribution has been challenged, with the suggestion that the source is actually Johann Heinrich Voss, an eighteenth-century German poet and classicist.
Thus, I need a new quotation for the pirate pic. If you’re feeling creative, add your ideas!
And when you do, include the Luther source, if possible.