Walter Arthur Maier (October 4, 1893 – January 11, 1950) was a noted radio personality, public speaker, prolific author, university professor, scholar of ancient Semitic languages and culture, Lutheran theologian and editor. He is best known as the speaker for The Lutheran Hour radio broadcast from 1930 to 1950.
Maier planned to enter the ministry from an early age. His family supported his goals by arranging for him to attend the Concordia Collegiate Institute in New York, an academy combining both high school and junior college in the fashion of a European Gymnasium. Here, young Maier learned Greek, Latin, and German, along with other background materials suitable for an aspiring Lutheran minister. And here he first developed his love for studies in Hebrew, the language of the Christian Old Testament.
“Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19
CONSTANTLY KEEP THE CHRISTMAS TRUTH!
How noble and outstanding the Virgin Mary was! While we dare not endorse the error of some who have made her almost equal to God Himself, called her, in effect, the promised deliverer of the human race, we must not descend to the other extreme which regards her only as an average Palestinian mother. Twice, in the words of angels and men, does the Bible call her “blessed…among women.” We dare not detract from that or go beyond it. She who bore our Lord Jesus should be an example of excellency for all women.
Therefore we plead: Women of America, follow Mary! Remember that God has made you, the wives, mothers, daughters, of this country the guardians of much that is best and highest. If you fail us, the loss will be irreparable. The forces of hell are working in unbroken shifts, using the emergencies of war for a systematic attack on Christian womanhood. Too often their unholy assaults have been successful. Think of the girls lined up at tavern bars, elbow to elbow with men! Recall the startling increase in drunkenness among women! Hear the reports of growing profanity in large industrial plants! Behold the evidence of shocking immorality, cunningly practiced in the name of patriotism, and then ask God to give you a constant vision of Christmas and the glorious heights to which womanhood was exalted when Mary became the mother of the world’s Savior!
Especially, however, should we all follow Mary in her faith. She knew more about the birth of Christ than any other person on earth; and unfalteringly she trusted the Almighty. It is recorded of her in Scripture, “Blessed is she that believed.” There were mysteries for Mary at the manger, promises she could hardly understand. The angel had told her that her Babe was to be the Son of God; yet He came into the world amid abject poverty; and the first to adore Him were not priests or church-men, but lowly shepherds. She had been assured that her Child would “save His people from their sins” and that His coming brought “good tidings of great joy” for “all people”; still was her Son not born an outcast? Only once in the whole marvelous story of her motherhood did she inquire, “How shall this be?”
We need that same trusting faith. I shall not argue or debate with you at length questions concerning the incarnation, the virgin birth, Christ’s two natures, and other truths which surpass our powers of understanding; I simply ask you to approach the whole Christmas record with an unbiased mind and permit facts to convince you.
Mary did not merely listen to the Christmas message and then forget it. We read in plain, one-syllable words, that after Jesus was born she “kept all these things,” the startling promises concerning the Holy Child, “in her heart!” We likewise must hold tight to the Christmas blessing even after the evergreen and decorations have been removed. The benedictions of our Savior’s birth are far too great to be restricted by the short span of twenty-four hours.
When Paula, a fifth-century Christian, came to Bethlehem, she knelt at the reputed site of the manger and exclaimed: “I see the divine Infant wrapped in His swaddling clothes. I hear my Lord crying in His cradle.”
While it is neither possible nor advisable for you now to make a pilgrimage to Palestine, by faith you can constantly keep close to the Christ Child. Accept Him as your Redeemer now! Take Him with you tomorrow when you go to work, when you march or drill., when you who must travel begin your journey! Let every day re-echo the rejoicing of the first Christmas: “Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”!
Come back to the manger during this radiant Christmas season with the holy resolve that, God’s Spirit sustaining you, you will guard every assurance of the Savior’s love as your priceless possession! Keep Christ in your family circle! Fathers, think of Mary, a weak woman with outstanding strength of devotion; and before the old year closes, resolve with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”! Keep the Gospel in your churches! Keep Christ on the air! Battle determinately against every sinister, un-American, anti-Christian movement that would bar broadcasts like our Bringing Christ to the Nations in a day when our boys are shedding their blood to preserve the freedom of religion!