As it became more and more plain to Dr. Martin Luther that the cross of Christ and the pride of the world were at odds with each other, he chose for his family a new crest, which has become the “family crest” of Lutherans worldwide. The best person to explain the meaning of the now famous “Luther Seal” is Dr. Martin Luther, himself..
First, there should be a black cross set in a heart, which should keep its natural colour. This will remind me that faith in the Crucified saves us. Because: “If you believe in your heart, you will be justified.” Even though it is a black cross, which kills us and causes pain, yet it allows the heart to remain its natural colour; it does not destroy the heart’s nature, that is, it does not kill the heart, but keeps it alive. Because “The just will live by faith” – but faith in the Crucified.
Now, although the cross is black, mortified, and intended to cause pain, yet it does not tend to change the colour of the heart, does not destroy nature, i.e., does not kill, but keeps alive. “For the just shall live by faith,” – by faith in the saviour.
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 ideal colour of all angels and blessed spirits.
The rose, moreover, is fixed on a sky-coloured ground, to denote that such joy of faith in the spirit is but an earnest yearning and beginning of heavenly joy to come, as anticipated and held by hope, though not yet revealed.
And around this groundbase 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 treasured metal. Christ, our dear Lord, He will give us grace unto eternal life.
Put them all together, the complete seal.
Artistic work by Peter McLeod – with a little help from Pastor Milette