On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Cathedral of Wittenberg, Germany. That date was sometimes called the “4th of July of Protestantism.” It symbolized the start of the Protestant Reformation.
And the single most powerful hymn of the Protestant Reformation Movement was Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” based on Psalm 46. This hymn became the battle cry of the people, a great source of strength and inspiration even for those who were martyred for their convictions. Its majestic and thunderous proclamation of our faith is a singing symbol of the reformation.
Inspired by Psalm 46, Luther caught up in the hymn the very essence of faith, and the fervor and flavor of patriotism which he found in the Psalm.
This hymn has been translated into practically every known language and is regarded as one of the noblest and most classic examples of Christian hymnody.
The first line of this national hymn of Protestant Germany is fittingly inscribed on the tomb of the great reformer at Wittenberg,
Luther had strong convictions about the use and power of sacred music. Once he wrote, “I would allow no man to preach or teach God’s people without a proper knowledge of the use and power of sacred song.