Luther on the Church:

The whole world has nothing better, more precious, or nobler than the church, in which the voice of God is heard and God is worshiped with true forms of worship, that is, with faith, invocation, patience, obedience, etc. Yet the church is so hidden from view by the cross, by afflictions, by dishonor, and by contempt that the world concludes that nothing is more detestable and baneful.

(Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 4: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 21-25 (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.) (Ge 21:3). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.)