Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about the Reformation. Help our time together to be holy time. In your name we pray, Amen.
Bible Verse: Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Our family comes from the Lutheran tradition, and celebrating Reformation Day is kind of a big deal. This year is the 499th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, so it is even a bigger deal. On October 31, 1517, a Roman Catholic monk and professor named Martin Luther nailed a piece of paper with 95 things that he thought was wrong with the church on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenburg, Germany. He meant to start a discussion about how to reform the church. What he started was a religious revolution. One of the results of this revolution was the formation of other Christian denominations, called Protestants for their protesting against the Roman Catholic Church, of which the Lutheran church is one.
These days, our call is not to be against Catholics, but rather to always be reforming. As Lutherans, we look closely at everything that we believe, say, and do, and try to make sure that it both fits the time in which we live and is in accordance with God’s will. This is not always easy, but it is holy work.
What is your favorite part of church? Your faith? What about your church or your faith needs some work? How does knowing that God alone is the source of our strength help you to do the important work of reform?
Song: Amazing Grace (jazzy version)
One of the most important things that Martin Luther taught was that God along gives us grace; it is not something that we could ever earn on our own. What better song to sing to celebrate this than a kicked up version of “Amazing Grace”?
Activity: Luther’s Rose
Martin Luther was especially interested in helping children and families to understand our Christian faith. He translated the Bible into German so that regular people could understand it. He wrote the Small Catechism so that parents could teach it to their children in a simple way. He also drew a picture which included everything you needed to know about the promises of God. It is called Luther’s Rose. Here is what it means:
Black Cross: We are saved from sin because Jesus died on the cross.
Red Heart: We live because Jesus shed His blood for us. Our faith in Him has saved us.
White Rose: Our faith give us joy, comfort, and peace. White is to remind us this is peace like the angels enjoy.
Blue Background: Reminds us that we will meet Jesus in heaven.
Gold Circle: Gold is precious; it reminds us of heaven’s endless joys. A circle is an endless shape.
(Thanks to Zion Lutheran Church online for this explanation! See link below.)
Today, we will assemble our own Luther’s Rose to hang on the refrigerator, in our rooms, or even to wear as a button!
First, print out the cutting guide, which you can find here:
Then, you have two choices. Either you can cut each piece out of colored paper in the colors indicated, or you can color a white piece and then cut them out.
Assemble them in a stack like this:
- Yellow circle down first.
- Blue circle on yellow circle.
- White rose on blue circle
- Red heart centered on white rose.
- Punch a small hole in the center of the heart and slip a brad through. Fasten as tightly as you can.
- Add a glue dot to the top of the brad. Stick the black cross to the top of the brad.
- If you want to make this into a button to wear, add a safety pin between the white and blue layers and through the blue and yellow layers.
- If you want to hang it on the refrigerator, attach a small magnet to the back.
- If you want to hang it on a bulletin board, no further action is needed!
Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you.
Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you called Martin Luther to reform the church. Help us to do our best to always follow you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Bonus Resource: I developed a children’s bulletin for use with my parish on Reformation Sunday. If you might find it useful, please access it here:
I am thankful for tons of great online resources about the Reformation which contributed to the writing of this Family God Time. Check them out below:
Sojourn Kids Reformation Party: http://www.sojournkids.com/blog/2010/10/reformation-day-party-plan
Simplified Explanation of Luther’s Rose: http://zion-lutheran-online.com/christian-education/sunday-school/62-luthers-seal
Full Explanation of Luther’s Rose: http://www.goodshepherd.nb.ca/seal/