August 15th is the Feast of Mary, Mother of our Lord. August 15th depresses me. Why? Because these Marian days remind me just how off course American Lutheranism has gotten. I hope to vent her a little bit, so my sermon doesn't become a giant venting.
Lutherans are to be reformers of Rome, not reactionaries against. Our approach is to take and hold on to the things that Rome has, cleanse them of their false doctrine, and present these wonders in a clean and pristine manner. To be a reformer means that you have to love what you are reforming. This means we correct - we cling to the truth and reject that which has built up and is erroneous.
Sadly, too many Lutherans have become mere reactionaries - thinking that to turn ones back upon anything Roman is what it means to be Lutheran. Nothing shows this more than things concerning Mary. Rome overhypes Mary (in ways that would make the blessed Virgin weep sorrowfully - imagine humble Mary being used as the excuse to blaspheme her Son!), and they fall into error. As a reforming Lutheran, we ought to cherish the things that may be rightly said about Mary - that she is the Mother of God, that all nations indeed call her blessed. If one wishes as Luther did, even hold to her perpetual virginity (although I do not). But we should rejoice and delight in this wondrous saint of God who gave birth to our Lord.
But many will want, in the name of their reactionary Lutheranism, to have nothing to do with Mary. Any mention of her in Scripture (except for the Wedding at Cana or where Jesus says, "These are my mother and my brothers and my sisters") tends to be hurried by. They will say nothing at best - or at worst they will mock and malign Mary, as though 2 wrongs would make a right.
Go read the Magnificat - and what do you see? Sometime all of us should hope to be - a humble sinner who glorifies God for all that He has done for us. Mary is quite the theologian -- it's just such a shame that so much bad theology, Papish and Reactionary, centers upon her.