This coming October 31st is the big 500!!!! The 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Reformation Day! A day worth celebrating.
I love how my friend Lindsey from Road to 31 put it:
We celebrate Reformation Day because it represents the reclaiming of the one true gospel that had been lost in the Catholic church and replaced with the traditions and teachings of men. We celebrate that there were men who were willing to face the wrath and judgment of man rather than violate conscience according to the Holy Spirit and Scripture. We celebrate the boldness to proclaim the truth of God in the face of very real and present danger. We celebrate the movement that placed the Word of God in the hands of believers, to study for themselves so they could be taught by God Himself, rather than having to take the priests word as gospel. We celebrate Reformation Day because it is yet one more testament to the faithfulness of God.
I so agree with her, there are real and true reasons for celebration here.
How our Family Celebrates:
Each year our family looks forward to attending a Reformation Celebration put on by a local ministry in our area. If you live in the East Tennessee area it’s Castle Ministry, and you can find out more information about them in the link.
The celebration could be done on a smaller scale by a family or on a larger scale by a church or ministry. The event we attend begins with Reformation Themed games and activities on the lawn. Here are a few of the games and activities my girls enjoyed.
Building a Mighty Fortress : block building for the little ones
Coloring on the Wartberg Castle: another huge hit with my little crew.
5 Solas Toss: basically it’s a bean bag toss with 5 chances; the children are told about and quizzed on what the 5 solas are as they toss their bean bags
Sword fighting: Some good old fashioned foam sword fighting. My big girls loved this!
Pin the 95 Thesis on the door: It’s similar to “pin the tale on the donkey”, blind fold and spin then send them off to the door
Hide the Heretic: finding the Reformers (called “heretics” by the Catholic Church) in a haystack
Here’s a little look around at the Castle. There was also facepainting and people dressed up as the Reformers telling their stories. The children could go up into the tower to meet Martin Luther and his wife and hear their story.
There is also a pot luck meal, family dance, bonfire, smores, and hymn singing. Castle Ministry does a wonderful job putting all of this together!
At home we teach our children about the Reformation with these books and others:
This is a great story by RC Sproul, written from the perspective of a barber who learns to pray by asking Martin Luther questions about prayer. It’s great in two ways: first it gives great historical content about Martin Luther and what he did, and secondly it gives sound Biblical teaching on prayer in a way that a child can understand.
Little Lights books are great for young children and bigger children. I love that they have small bold sentences on one side for new readers to try, and then a paragraph for an adult to read to them. They are a perfect introduction to some of the heroes of our faith for our little ones!
Biographies for Young Readers books are probably my favorite! We are still working on our collection because they are a little pricey (about $18 a book, but so worth it!). They are beginner chapter picture books; perfect for about second grade and up. We have 5 of them and love each one, I have the rest of them on our family library wish list. They are very thorough and encouraging even to my own heart.
We’ve also greatly enjoyed this Martin Luther DVD (it’s free to watch for amazon prime members!) You can purchase them on amazon (aff. link) or through Torchlighters (They also have coloring and activity sheets to go with the dvds on their site). We love all of their DVDs in this series. They are a breath a fresh air for our family because finding edifying children’s shows is quite the challenge, but these definitely make the cut. They say for older children, but my children enjoy them from about 3 years old and up. I do recommend watching with your child and explaining what is happening the first time through. They make for wonderful discussions!
I may come back to this post and add to this list because I have more to share, but I’m short on time.
Happy Reformation Day!
PS If you are interested, I have shared a Biblical perspective post on Halloween over at my other blog Abiding Woman.