Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
A night watchman at the Castle Church in Wittenberg was surprised during his early rounds this morning to find Martin Luther's tomb disturbed. The large stone on which the brass plaque with the Reformer's name and epitaph were inscribed had been turned over on its side. The warden approached slowly, thinking that perhaps he was witnessing evidence of a post-Easter miracle.
"I'm not normally a superstitious person," he explained in his thick Saxon accent. "But this was a real marvel. Something amazing had surely happened"
When he approached the tomb, he found that all was accounted for, but Luther's coffin was upside down. Luther had apparently rolled over in his grave.
The event has been variously interpreted.
"I think that the scandal with the radio show Issues, etc. was the cause of it," said Mollie Hemingway in the Wall Street Journal. "Luther dealt with church bureaucrats in his own time, but the ones we see today make Tetzel and Pope Leo appear subtle."
LCMS President Jerry Kieschnick suggested that Luther had not really turned over in his grave, but had tried to exit his grave in order to evangelize visiting tourists. "We counted that as two hundred and thirty-seven Ablaze! encounters, even though he wasn't able to leave his coffin to talk to anyone. It was such a dramatic gesture, and we want people to know that God doesn't care about success, but only cares that you tried."
Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto said this was a hasty conclusion. "This is what happens when journalists no longer do field work. What incentive does Jerry Kieschnick have to check out the facts?" "And what are the facts?" an interviewer asked him. "I am not certain yet," he answered. "But this could be the work of the Aum Shinrikyo cult who believe that Luther was an incarnation of Shiva, the God of death. Pope Leo himself held similar beliefs in the 16th century, something which has been ignored by the history books. But I plan to visit Wittenberg myself to find out later this week. One thing that we know already is that this happened at night when the church was locked so there were no tourists involved. The Ablaze! numbers were clearly fabricated."
11:21 am Pacific Standard Time