Ask anyone who has ever run out of a locker room before a game and they will tell you that there is usually some sort of slogan or inspirational message hanging near the door that is supposed to get you all fired up and ready. Would that this quote from Luther were hanging in the vestries of our churches in a similar way:

If you preach faith [and assurance] people become lax…But if you do not preach faith, hearts become frightened and dejected…Do as you please. Nothing seems to help. Yet faith in Christ should be preached, no matter what happens. I would much rather hear people say of me that I preach too sweetly…than not preach faith in Christ at all, for then there be no help for timid, frightened consciences…Therefore I should like to have the message of faith in Christ not forgotten but generally known. It is so sweet a message, full of sheer joy, comfort, mercy and grace. I must confess that I myself have as yet not fully grasped it. We shall have to let it happen that some turn the message into an occasion for security and presumption; others…slander us…and say [that by preaching so much of Christ] we make people lazy and thus keep them from perfection. Christ himself had to hear that he was a friend of publicans and sinners…We shall not fare any better.”

Martin Luther Ascension Day sermon of 1534: WA 37, pp 394-395