Welcome back to our discussion of ways to Celebrate the Church Year With Your Kids. Coming up on October 31 we will be celebrating Reformation Day.
I personally like to start talking about Reformation Day early in October. Why? Because that’s when we start talking about Halloween and putting up our pumpkin decorations. What does it say about the importance of these two holidays, both celebrated on the same day, if we start talking about Halloween on October 1st and only bring up Reformation Day on October 31 in passing on our way to go Trick-or-Treating?
As promised, here is my breakdown of Reformation Day in our house. I’d love to hear your ideas, resources, and thoughts as well!
Learn the History / Know the Facts
On October 31, 1571 Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This act triggered the movement known as the Reformation.
The goal of Martin Luther was to restore the Gospel, that Jesus Christ is the only way to life eternal, as the foundation of the Church. (The Catholic Church was heavily involved in selling indulgences at this time). Reformation Day is a day for us to give thanks for what God accomplished through his servant, Martin Luther. And also the message of salvation found only through Jesus Christ.
The liturgical color for Reformation Day is Red. It is usually celebrated the Sunday before October 31.
Books We Can Read Together
Martin Luther: The German Monk Who Changed the Church by Ben Alex. This is what Charlotte Mason would call a “living book.” It sets the scene and puts you right there along with Martin Luther on his journey from young boy, to monk, to Church revolutionary, to his later years. Most of this book still was too much for my toddlers. I read it for background and we did look at pictures together. It would be better for a little older child or as a read aloud book.
The Time of the Church (Mouse Prints: Journey Through the Church Year) by Suzanne Richterkessing. This is a fun book for little ones. It is actual one of a three part series following mice Smidge and Smudge as they learn about important dates in the Church year. There are a couple pages specifically devoted to Reformation Day. My kids love this one and there are some nice illustrations of the Church alter in red as well as Luther’s Seal.
Timeless Bible Truths: The Illustrated Small Catechism published by Concordia Publishing House. While this isn’t exclusively a book on Reformation Day, it is also a great time of year to discuss how Martin Luther wrote the Small Catechism. This book illustrates the Small Catechism in comic book style. We focused on the Ten Commandments with our 4 year old and it got him thinking and asking us quesitons.
Look at Pictures & Dress Up: I printed a few full page pictures of Martin Luther. We looked at the pictures and talked about how Martin Luther’s clothes looked different from what we wear today. He was a Monk and that required a different dress. We found items in our house that looked similar and dressed the part (I used my brown turtle necks and tied rope around their waists).
Color Luther’s Seal: I made them on quarter sheets of paper and let each child color several. After that we talked about how Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the wall of the Church.
Nailing the 95 Theses: Then we got out our (toy) hammers and tape and we walked around the house “nailing” our drawings of Luther’s Seal to the doors.
Sing It! Let your kids know that Martin Luther also wrote hymns in praise to God. One of the most popular of which is “A Mighty Fortress.” Listen to the hymn and sing it together.
Share It & Pass It On
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV
This Bible verse is a great one to share with your family and others on Reformation Day. Martin Luther didn’t set out to be a revolutionary or break away from the Catholic Church. He was just a man who loved the Lord and wanted to make sure everyone knew that there was only one way to get to Heaven. Through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His death on the cross to save us from our sins.
Consider making treat bags to take to family and friends and include this verse. Or include it with the candy you are handing out on Halloween.
There you have it. A few thoughts and ideas to help you get started celebrating Reformation Day in your home. And don’t forget to wear your Reformation Day Red this week – it’s a great conversation starter!
Linked up with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.