Showing posts with label Reformation Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reformation Day. Show all posts

For Celebrating Reformation Day



This morning I was still laying in bed when I heard my kids shouting from their rooms.

"It's Reformation Day!"

Last year we played up Reformation Day quite a bit, but I wasn't feeling very organized this year, so I didn't plan anything.

"Mom, it's Reformation Day!  Did you make us new shirts?  Can we have chocolate pudding with worms in it again?"

So I guess it's a tradition now.

I'm spending the morning perusing my bookshelves, digging out that video about Martin Luther that we rented from the library, and trying to think of other last-minute things we can do to celebrate.  I'm not mad about this last-minute scramble though.  We don't celebrate Halloween, but last year I decided there is no reason we can't celebrate Reformation Day instead, and I love that my kids have latched onto it.

We dug out our shirts from last year, and they still fit, so we're all good.  Well, except for Georgie, but she doesn't know any different this year.



Protestants are notorious for knowing so little about their own history, and it's a pity because there are so many inspiring men and women who worked to spread God's Word and the truth of the Gospel!  Many gave their lives so others could know that they could be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

I want my kids to know that history, to be inspired by those men and women who were willing to give everything - their reputations, their livelihood, their lives - for their faith.  My tagline for this blog (back when people were really into taglines) used to be about living each day with eternity in mind.  Well, I can't think of any better example of that than these martyrs, and I'm glad that we have this day each year to remember the truth of the Gospel and be strengthened by the faith of those who have come before us.

So, anyway, if you are a Protestant family that would also like your children to have some grounding in church history, I've got a few resources for you.  Some to strengthen you, and some fun ones just for kids.  You don't have to start teaching kids about their Protestant heritage just on Reformation Day, you can start any time!



Also, throwing together some chocolate pudding with gummy worms definitely helps with the retention, in my experience.

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For Kids:

The Life Of Martin Luther - A fun pop-up book about Martin Luther's life!  I wrote about this last year too, you can read more here.

Reformation ABC's - This would honestly be a good resource to learn more about the Reformation for adults as well as kids.  Fun illustrations, and lots of great history.

Church History ABC's - I just ordered this one, and I haven't received it yet, but I think it is similar to the Reformation ABC's.  Basically, I think anything by Stephen J. Nichols is going to be good for church history.

Torchlighters: The Martin Luther Story - I'm not quite sure if my kids are ready for this one yet, so I'm holding off until I can watch it first, but this movie or something similar will definitely be in our Reformation Day celebrations in the future.

Tiny Theologians - If you haven't heard of this website, you need to go check it out!  Lots of colorful and fun tools for teaching kids theology and church history!

Sola Gratia Co - Last year I bought a couple of our Reformation Day shirts from Diet Of Worms Apparel - sadly the business closed, but Sola Gratia Co has some fun shirts that could also do the trick!  I really like the "soli deo gloria" ones.  Or you could make your own like I did, it wasn't that hard.  Maybe I'll do a how-to post one of these days.



For Adults:

The Reformation by Stephen J. Nichols - This is my go-to recommendation for a book to read about the Reformation. It's a short, readable book, with lots of information about the Reformers that I found so fascinating and inspiring!

Why The Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester - If you need some clarification about what the big deal even was about the Reformation, this book goes into the specific doctrines and differences between Protestants and Catholics.  Really informative and helpful.

Wretched Reformation Celebration - You can watch this video on Youtube - I haven't had a chance to sit and watch it yet, but Todd Friel puts out some great resources for Reformation Day each year, sharing stories of martyrs, etc.  There are some short video clips on this channel about the stories of some of the reformers too: here, here, and here, for example.

Five Minutes In Church History - A great podcast about church history!  I was searching through their archives this morning and specifically liked hearing R.C. Sproul talk about the Reformation here.

Foxe's Book Of Martyrs - I have never read this book, because I know it's obviously going to be hard to read.  But I need to just buckle down and start.  I know there are stories of martyrs from the Reformation period in here as well, and I think it's important to remember their stories.

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Even though I dropped the ball on Reformation Day this year, I am going to make sure I put some effort into it next year.  It's obviously become a fun memory for my kids.  Fond memories surrounding learning about church history?  Yes, please.

Have you ever done anything to celebrate or remember Reformation Day?




How We Celebrated Reformation Day (And Why)

(Some affiliate links in this post!  Just on the books you know, so I can buy more books...)

A few weeks ago, we were working through a history lesson, and somehow I got onto the topic of the Reformation.

"So Martin Luther nailed his 95 points to the church door, and there is a thing called Reformation Day now."

"Reformation Day?" Wyatt asked.

"Yes, and it's actually on the same day as Halloween."

Gwen looked thoughtful for a moment.  "Mom, can we celebrate Reformation Day this year?"

And just like that, we were celebrating Reformation Day this year.

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I already explained a few weeks ago why we choose not to celebrate Halloween in our family, so I am not sure why it hasn't occurred to me to celebrate Reformation Day.  Reformation Day is on October 31st, which is the day that Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenburg.  He was mostly arguing against the practice of indulgences at that time, but he came to realize through this process of studying the Bible that our salvation is purely by the grace of God.  We contribute nothing to our salvation, because we have no righteousness of our own with which to approach God.  Christ took the punishment for our sin and gives us His righteousness when we put our trust in Him, and our salvation is completely through His sacrifice and apart from our own works.

You can read more about the Reformation on your own (that was a very surface-y explanation above), but the bottom line is that if you are part of any Protestant Christian denomination, it all started right here.  With Martin Luther and other Reformers, who studied the Bible, through their study rediscovered the truth of the good news of the Gospel, and brought the church back to the firm foundation of the Word Of God.

This is YOUR history, and you are still reaping the benefits of the work the Reformers did in bringing the truth of the Gospel to light. 

I think that is worth celebrating for sure!

As a mom, I really want my kids to know Christian history, and the heritage that has been passed down to us through the sacrifices of people like the Reformers, who fought and died for the truth of God's Word.  I think in Protestant circles, we tend to get a little disconnected from our history, and I'd really like my kids to have a sense of the history and heroes of the faith between the end of the Bible (around 96 AD) until today. I explain these things to them, but I think making a celebration of this part of our history is a wonderful way to help personalize it for my kids.  As I was thinking about how to celebrate Reformation Day, I was trying to think of some ways to have a little fun while we remember our Christian history too.  Here is how we celebrated this year!



1. Reformation Day Shirts 

Several months ago, I stumbled across Diet Of Worms apparel, which makes clothing for "little (and big) reformers".  I laughed out loud at their "It's Hammer Time" t-shirt, and I ordered one for Wyatt and a "Sola Fide" t-shirt for myself.  They have since gone out of business, so I took some inspiration from them and made t-shirts for everyone else in our family myself!  A little guide:

Sola Fide - Latin for "faith alone".  This is one of the five "solas" of the Reformation.


Image via Facebook



1517 - The year Martin Luther nailed up his theses (this year was the 501st anniversary!).



"The Righteous Shall Live By Faith" - the phrase in Romans that led to Luther's epiphany that our salvation is through faith alone.



"On This I Stand, I Can Do No Other" - This is what Luther said at the "Diet Of Worms", which is actually what they called a church council/trial held in the city of Worms, when church leaders asked Luther to recant his writings.  The full quote is here:

“Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason (I do not accept the authority of popes and councils because they have contradicted each other), my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

The kids loved their shirts and asked to wear them again the next day!  This was fun for me, because it was a like a little Reformation Day present/surprise I could give them.
Speaking of the Diet Of Worms...

2. Worm Pudding
As a play on the Diet Of Worms, we had a "diet of worms" in the form of gummy-worm-and-orea-pudding!  I thought this was really funny and clever of myself, ha!  My kids were a little young to get the joke I think, they just enjoyed the pudding.
3.  A Sausage Dinner
This is in honor of a different sausage dinner, and a sermon preached by a priest there, which kicked off the Reformation in Switzerland.  You can read more about that here.  (Sausage dinner not pictured, but it was really good.)

4. Reformation Day Books
I first toyed with the idea of celebrating Reformation Day last year, for the 500th anniversary, but I was hugely pregnant, and to be honest, I wasn't sure if my kids were old enough to "get it".  This year my oldest two are 7 and 5, and I have to say, it's been really pleasantly surprising to me how much they understand about what the Reformation means!  The got an idea of what we were celebrating just through conversations together, but I wanted to find some books to drive it home.  These are the two I picked:
Reformation ABC's - This is a thorough book for kids, covering a different aspect or hero of the Reformation for each letter.  We didn't read this whole book, since it's probably geared for kids a little older than my kids, but we read several pages, about the Bible, Luther, Hiedelburg and Westminster.  my kids were excited when they recognized a catechism question on the Westminster page!
The Life Of Martin Luther: A Pop-Up Book - This is a pop-up book (obviously), and my kids asked me to read it three times!  It's the story of Martin Luther in a nutshell, and the pop-ups make it so fun.  The only thing I'd change about this book is a line on the last page that mentions Luther introducing "new ideas" - I would rephrase that "biblical ideas" - but other than that, it's just perfect!
5.  Reformation Reading For Me 
This whole celebration of Reformation Day really started with my reading challenge this year.  One of the categories was to read about church history, so I picked up a couple books about the Reformation.  I have been a Christian since I accepted Christ as a child, and I grew up in the church, and it was shocking how much of this history I DIDN'T know!  If you want to celebrate Reformation Day with your kids, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the history too!  Not only has is been helpful in teaching the history to my kids, but it has made me pay more careful attention to different verses in my Bible reading, and really enriched my own faith this year.
The Reformation: How A Monk And A Mallet Changed The World by Stephen Nichols - This book is short and sweet, and most importantly, very readable!  I found this whole book really fascinating, and learned about how I've benefitted from the sacrifices of Reformers I'd never even heard of.  This is a must-have primer on the history of the Reformation, in my opinion.
Why The Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester   -  If the book above is about the history of the Reformation, this book is about the nuts and bolts of what the Reformation was really about.  A lot of the theology discussed is more subtle than I originally thought, but the distinctions are so, so important.  I'm almost done listening to this one on audio, and highly recommend it!

Also a heads up - one of my favorite podcasts/websites has a free "Reformation Day Celebration" for download!  I haven't had a chance to watch it yet because our internet was out last week, but it's still available here!


Stay tuned for Reformations Days in years to come, because I have more ideas already spinning in my head for next year!

Have you heard of Reformation Day?  Have you ever celebrated it (and how)? 

I highly encourage you to give it a try next year!  We had fun with it!









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