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lutherSalvation Stations--A Journey of Faith

St. John Lutheran Church



Bible Background

Story: Martin Luther

Bible Passage:

None

Key Verse:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.     --Ephesians 2:8

Main Point:

Luther taught us that we cannot earn our way to heaven by doing good things.  Heaven is a free gift to all who believe in Jesus.

Workshops Offered (with brief description)

  • Cooking:  The students will snack on various food items that represent parts of the story of Martin Luther. They will then decorate a cupcake or cookie to look like the Luther Rose.
  • Drama:  The class will discuss four key scenes in the life of Luther. They will then act them out.
  • Video:  The students will watch and discuss the DVD: The Martin Luther Story (The Torchlighters Heroes of the Faith).
  • Storytelling: The students will hear the story of the Reformation from Martin Luther and "nail" various stickers representing parts of the story to their "doors".


Background Information

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany in 1483 (9 years before Columbus discovered America).  At first, Luther wanted to be a lawyer but God had other plans for him.  One day, he was caught in a violent thunderstorm and feared that he would die. He promised that if he survived the storm he would become a monk in the Catholic church (which was the only church at the time).  He became a monk and then a priest and then a professor who would teach about God's word.  At that time, the Catholic church taught Luther to be afraid of God because of his sins.  Luther thought that he had to work hard to make God love him.  He had no peace of mind about his relationship with God.

As a professor, Luther studied the Bible very carefully.  He learned that God sent His son Jesus to atone for our sins through His death on the cross.  God does more than command people to be good, He forgives us.  Forgiveness and heaven are free--they don't have to be earned by good works.  Luther found peace by believing in God's love.

Not everyone agreed with this thinking.  The Catholic pope at the time--Pope Leo-- wanted to finish building his elaborate St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. To raise money for this, the church sold indulgences.  Indulgences were a piece of paper that said you could escape so many years of punishment in purgatory. (As the coin into the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs!)  Luther was against indulgences because they were a lie and they led people to trust in other things instead of God's love.

Luther found a number of issues--95 in all--that he wanted to have a debate about. He wrote them down.  They were called the 95 Theses.  On October 31, 1517, he nailed them to the door of the church. This was the way of inviting others to discuss these ideas. Copies of these 95 Theses spread all through the land because of the new invention of the printing press.  People everywhere wanted to read it.  Many agreed with Luther and became his followers.

Not everyone agreed with Luther, though.  Important Catholic church leaders said that Luther was a heretic--he was not teaching the truth about God's word.  The Pope even excommunicated Luther--he was kicked out of the Catholic church.

The Emperor, Charles V, ordered that Luther be sent to trial at the city of Worms (this event was called the Diet of Worms). The Holy Spirit helped Luther to speak the truth.  Luther said "I cannot take back my teachings unless you show me from the Bible where I am wrong.  Here I stand, God help me!"  The emperor put Luther under the Ban, which meant anyone could kill him if he didn't leave the empire after 21 days.

As Luther left the trial, he was kidnapped by a group of soldiers.  However, they had been sent to protect Luther.  They took Luther to Wartburg Castle, where he stayed in hiding.  While he was there, Luther translated the New Testament into German so people could read God's word in their own language instead of not being able to understand it in a strange language.

Luther knew God's love and wanted the people of the church to enjoy it too.  Therefore, he wrote a catechism so that children could learn about God's love.  He wrote hymns--many based on popular tunes of the day--so that people could sing and take part in worship.

After leaving the Catholic church, Luther met and married a nun named Katie. They had 6 children.

We celebrate Reformation on October 31, the day that Luther nailed the 95 theses to the church door.  The word Reformation is based on the word "reform”--because Luther wanted to debate and reform the teachings of the Catholic church.  We are called Protestants because we protested against the teachings of the Catholic church.




This painting of  "Luther posting his 95 theses in 1517" is by Ferdinand PauwelsThis image is in the  public domain, accessed via Wikimedia Common.

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Salvation Stations:  A Journey of Faith

St. John Lutheran Church

Cooking Station

Story: Martin Luther

 Station Summary

The students will snack on various food items that represent parts of the story of Martin Luther. They will then decorate a cupcake or cookie to look like the Luther Rose.

Preparation

  1. Review Bible Background notes.
  2. Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.
  3. Materials List:
    • Bibles (found in classrooms)
    • Pencils, crayons, markers, paper, scissors (found in guide boxes kept in classrooms)
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Cheese straws (Trader Joe's has these style crackers)
    • Red hots
    • Heart-shaped candies or Hershey's kisses
    • Graham crackers
    • Goldfish crackers
    • Small bowls
    • Small paper plates
    • Large sugar or butter cookies (another option would be unfrosted cupcakes)
    • Plastic knives
    • Picture of the Luther Rose (end of lesson)
    • White frosting
    • Black and yellow cake decorating gel
    • Blue sugar sprinkles
    • Red fruit roll-ups, cut into heart shapes
    • Coloring sheets (see end of lesson)--one per student
  4. Advance Preparation:
    • Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
    • Place the various snack supplies in different bowls.
    • Pre-cut the fruit roll-ups into small hearts.
    • Make a sample of the rose decorated cookie.


Introduction

  1. Introduce yourself to the students.
  2. Briefly explain what you will be doing today and what you want them to learn.
  3. Open with a prayer.

Presentation

Introduction & Bible Story

 Give each student a small paper plate.

Say: We are going to learn about our story while we make a snack. You can eat as we go through the story.

 (Have the guide distribute each [ingredient] as you come to it in the story.

Keep one of each ingredient on YOUR plate, to aid the students in retelling the story.)

Our church is called St. John LUTHERAN Church. The word Lutheran comes from the name of a man called Martin Luther. We are learning about him this month. Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany in 1483 (9 years before Columbus discovered America).  At first, Luther wanted to be a lawyer but God had other plans for him.  One day, he was caught in a violent thunderstorm and feared that he would die. These [cheese straws] can remind us of the lightning bolts that Luther feared. Luther  promised that if he survived the storm he would become a monk in the Catholic church (which was the only church at the time).He kept that promise. Martin Luther became a Catholic priest and then a professor.

 Luther loved to read the Bible. In fact, his studies of the Bible led him to believe that the pope, the leader of the Catholic church, was teaching things that were not in the Bible.  The Catholic church taught that after you died you went to a place called purgatory, that was between heaven and hell. This was a place where people suffered--we will use these [spicy red hots] to remind us of the flames and pain. By the way, Lutherans do not believe in purgatory because it is not mentioned in the Bible. The Catholic church taught that you had to stay in purgatory until you were good enough to go to heaven. In fact, the Catholic Church sold indulgences; you could buy the good works of the saints-- kind of like a get out of jail card.  Martin Luther disagreed with this practice because it was not in the Bible.

 As Luther read the Bible, he learned that the only way that people got to heaven was through Jesus! Luther realized that God loved him. These [heart candies or chocolate kisses] remind us of that love.  Jesus loves us and died on the cross for the sins of everyone. We are forgiven because of the grace of God.  Faith that God forgives us because of what Jesus did is how you get to heaven. Forgiveness and salvation were gifts from God. There is nothing that you can do and there is no paper that you can buy that will get you into heaven.

 Martin Luther wanted everyone to know this good news.  He wanted to talk about this with the leaders of the Catholic church, so he wrote down his ideas.  In his case, he ended up having 95 ideas, called the 95 Theses. Then he nailed them to the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral. This [graham cracker] looks like a wooden door. He nailed them to the church doors on October 31, 1517--500 years ago this year! It was an act that began the Reformation and changed the world. 

 The printing press had recently been invented by a man named Guttenberg. Copies of Luther's 95 Theses were printed and sent all over Germany. Many people listened to what Luther had to say about what was in the Bible. Many people agreed with Luther, but he angered the church leaders and was called again and again to explain his position.

 Finally, Luther appeared before Charles the fifth, the emperor over much of Europe, at the Diet of Worms. No, they didn't eat worms!  In those days, a meeting was called a diet.  And this particular meeting--or diet--took place in a town called Worms, so I am giving you a [gummy worm] as a reminder. The church leaders demanded that Luther take back what he had written, but Luther said that everything he believed was based on the Bible.  He said: "I cannot recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I cannot do otherwise.  God help me. Amen!"  There are lots of ups and downs for Luther but, over the years, many of the leaders ended up agreeing with Luther.

 And now for a few personal things about Luther. There was a group of nuns who agreed with Luther's teachings. They decided to leave the convent, but running away was very dangerous.  So they came up with an escape plan.  They climbed into some empty fish barrels [hand out the goldfish crackers] and hid.  The barrels were taken to Wittenburg.  They climbed out of the barrels and started new lives.  One of these nuns was Katherine von Bora. Martin and Katie were married and eventually had 6 children--three boys and three girls.

Cookie/Cupcake Activity

Luther's Rose Cookie (or cupcake)                               luther rose

 Now we are going to make Luther's Rose cookies/cupcakes.  Show them a picture of the rose. Each color and symbol in Luther's Rose represents a part of his faith.  Distribute cookies and plastic knives (and a new plate if needed).

 Have the children decorate the cookies using the following materials and explaining the meaning of each part of the Luther Rose:

  1. Frost the entire cookie with white frosting. 
  2. Place a fruit roll-up red heart in the center.  The heart reminds us that it is faith in Jesus that saves us.  One who believes from the heart will be saved.
  3. Make a black cross in the middle of the heart with the black decorating gel.  Faith in the Crucified One--”Jesus Christ--is what saves us. 
  4. The heart is set in the middle of a white rose (the white frosting) to show that this faith brings joy, peace and comfort that the world cannot give.  The rose is white instead of red, because white is the color of spirits and angels.
  5. The white rose is placed on a field of heavenly blue, because such spiritual joy and faith are a beginning of heavenly joys to come.  Place blue sprinkles around the edges of the cookie to outline the shape of the white rose.
  6. Around this field of blue is a ring of gold, to signify that the bliss of heaven endures forever and is more precious than all earthly pleasures and possessions.  Draw a gold ring around the edge of the cookie with the yellow decorating gel.

 Reflect/Closure:

Memory Verse

 Read the memory verse and have the children repeat it:

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves,

it is the gift of God.--Ephesians 2:8

 Ask: How does this verse connect to what we learned today about Martin Luther? (saved by faith; not something we do; salvation is a gift)

Review

Hold up the snack ingredients and have the students retell the story.

 Hold up your cookie and have them tell you the meanings of Luther's Rose. You can give them a coloring sheet to take home.

 4. Closing Prayer:


Additional Suggestions

Show a picture of Martin Luther to help children visualize him and the time that he lived.  He is often confused with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If this station is taught later in the rotation, review the story of Martin Luther with the candies, asking questions, rather than completely retelling the story.

Age Adaptations

Younger students:  They may need some assistance with the decorating. 

Resources

This image of "Luther Rose" is by Daniel Csorfoly.  This image is in the public domain, accessed via Wikimedia Common.  https://commons.wikimedia.org/.../File:Lutherrose.svg

Guide Information

How the guide might help (this might be changed by the teacher): 

Hand out the paper plates at the start of the story. Hand out snack ingredients as the teachers tells the story. Assist students, as needed, with decorating their cookies. Hand out the coloring sheets before the students leave.

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Salvation Stations:  A Journey of Faith

St. John Lutheran Church

Drama Station

Story: Martin Luther

 Station Summary

The class will discuss four key scenes in the life of Luther.  They will then act them out.

Preparation

  • Review Bible Background notes.
  • Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.
  • Materials List:
    • props in the Drama Props boxes
  • Advance Preparation:
    • Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.


Introduction

  1. Introduce yourself to the students.
  2. Briefly explain what you will be doing today and what you want them to learn. 
  3. Open with a prayer.

Presentation

Introduction & Bible Story:

General introduction: Martin Luther was a Catholic priest and a professor who lived in the late 1400's and early 1500's. He was from Germany.  He found great comfort in reading the scriptures. In fact, his studies led him to believe that the pope was promoting ideas that were not biblically based.  One of the biggest issues he had with the pope was how people were released from punishment for their sins. The Catholic Church believed that good works could balance against your sins and earn your way into heaven.  In fact, the Catholic Church sold indulgences; you could buy the good works of the saints-- kind of like a get out of jail card. Martin Luther disagreed with this practice because it was not in the Bible.  He said that the only way that people got to heaven was through grace; there is nothing on this earth that any of us can do and there is no paper that you can buy that will get you into heaven.  Faith that God forgives us and grants us grace is how that happens; people are justified by grace.

 Say:  We will be talking about the story and acting it out as we go along.

Act It Out Activity

For the Teacher:   The class will be going through several events in Luther's life.  The focus is not getting through as many scenes as possible, but to explore several in depth.  In discussing and asking questions about each scene, try to guide your students (especially the older ones) to deeper levels of what is going on and why--not just the superficial actions.  You might want to jot down some of these ideas/concepts on your lesson plan below.

 Introduction for the Students:

Depending on the size of the class, you might want to split the students into several "acting troupes” with a variety of ages in each group. HOWEVER, keep all of the students together during the discussion. After the discussion, the group of actors will do their scene. Then, move on to the next scene.

Scene One: Vow to Become a Monk 

Brief Overview:  Martin went to the University of Erfurt, the greatest university in Germany, to study law.  Luther's parents were very pleased with this decision.  On his way back to Erfurt, he had the scare of his life. There was a terrible thunderstorm. Luther prayed and said, "Save me, St. Anne and I will become a monk!"  He made it back to Erfurt.  Luther kept his promise. His father was furious.

Discussion:

  • Characters in this scene:
  • What is happening?
  • For deeper discussion:  keeping your promises even when difficult;  was it OK to disappoint his father;  where is God in this?
  • How will they act it out?  Props?

Acting it out

Give them just a few moments to assemble props.  Then they can act it out.

Scene Two: Tries to be a “Good" Monk

Brief Overview:  As a child, Martin was taught that Jesus was a stern judge--rather than the Savior and Friend that He is.  Luther tried to be a good monk by praying and working and studying, but he felt like he was a failure.  He was always wondering what he needed to do in order to win God's forgiveness of his sins.

Discussion:

  • Characters in this scene:
  • What is happening?
  • For deeper discussion: their views of Jesus; how would they act if they were afraid of Jesus;  God IS a judge but what was His plan so that we wouldn't be punished;  how would Luther feel as he realized that he could not do everything right;  can we win forgiveness and salvation by what we do
  • How will they act it out? Props?

Acting it out

Give them just a few moments to assemble props.  Then they can act it out.

Scene Three:  Luther Discovers the Good News

Brief Overview:  Martin was sent to a new university in Wittenburg to become a professor.  He was still depressed and obsessed with being “good enough" for God. While there, he studied the Bible, especially the book of Romans. He was excited to learn that he didn't have to earn God's forgiveness.  God loved him.  Jesus died on the cross for his sins and the sins of everyone.  Forgiveness and salvation were gifts from God.

Discussion:

  • Characters in this scene:
  • What is happening?
  • For deeper discussion:  we are nice people--why isn’t that “good enough" for God;  importance of knowing what the Bible says/Luther didn't just make this up;  you don't have to earn gifts;  where is God in this
  • How will they act it out?  Props?

Acting it out

Give them just a few moments to assemble props.  Then they can act it out.

Scene Four:  Luther Defends his Teachings

Brief Overview: Salvation as a gift was NOT what the church was teaching at that time.  They were teaching that, even if you were a very bad person, you could pay money to get into heaven. On October 31st, 1517, Luther wrote 95 concerns--or theses--about incorrect teachings of the church.  He nailed them to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, so that everyone could read them. Many people agreed with Luther, but he angered the leaders.  Finally, Luther appeared before Charles the fifth, the emperor over much of Europe.  The church leaders demanded that Luther take back what he had written, but Luther clearly stated that everything he believed was based on the Bible.  He said: “I cannot recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I cannot do otherwise.  God help me. Amen!" Luther lost the trial anyhow and was called an outlaw.  This meant that anyone could kill him. 

Discussion:

  • Characters in this scene:
  • What is happening?
  • For deeper discussion:  standing up for the Bible and your faith;  Luther did this even though he could have died;  why didn't Luther give in when the leaders demanded it 
  • How will they act it out?  Props?

Acting it out

Give them just a few moments to assemble props.  Then they can act it out.


Reflect/Closure:

Ask how they see God at work in the life of Luther.

Closing Prayer: 


Age Adaptations

Older students:  Engage them with the "deeper" questions.

Guide Information

  1. Detailed Summary of Activities:  The class will discuss four key scenes in the life of Luther. They will then act them out.
  2. How the guide might help (this might be changed by the teacher). Help them with the prop box--don't let them spend too much time with this. Help put props away after class--make sure they go back in the correct box (they are labeled).
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Salvation Stations:  A Journey of Faith

St. John Lutheran Church

Video Station

Story: Martin Luther

 

luther dvd

Station Summary

 

The students will watch and discuss the DVD: The Martin Luther Story (The Torchlighters Heroes of the Faith).

Preparation

  1. Review Bible Background notes.
  2. Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.
  3. Materials List:
    • DVD player and TV (or projector)
    • DVD: Torchlighters Heroes of the Faith: The Martin Luther Story
  4. Advance Preparation:
    • Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for thedifferent ages.
    • Preview the video before teaching so that you are familiar with it.
    • Since class time is limited, make sure your equipment works and have the DVD set up before class starts (see lesson for where to start the DVD).


Introduction

  1. Introduce yourself to the students.
  2. Briefly explain what you will be doing today and what you want them to learn.
  3. Open with a prayer.

Presentation

Introduction & Bible Story:

 [We will be skipping the first 1½ minutes.  At the menu, choose scenes and then select the first scene--this will bypass the intro.  It will start with the title.  Have this set up before class starts.]

 Say: Our church is called St. John LUTHERAN Church. The word Lutheran comes from the name of a man called Martin Luther. He lived 500 years ago!  We will be watching a video about the life of Martin Luther.

Watch & Discuss:

  • Say: At the beginning of the video, I want you to pay attention to what the people seem to think about God and what Luther thinks about God.
  • Play the DVD.
  • Pause the DVD at 6:57 (the screen goes dark after Luther says that Christ alone saves us.
  • Ask: In the first scene, when people were dying from the plague, what did the people think about God? (it was judgment for their sins)  What did Luther talk about with the other monk?  (trying to please God but can't)  What did Luther realize after studying his Bible? (he is made right through what Jesus did, not by what he does; Christ alone saves us)
  • Say:  I want to explain a few things coming up next. The church at the time talked about purgatory--a place you went to after death--where you suffered until you were good enough to go to heaven.  THAT IS NOT IN THE BIBLE--IT IS NOT TRUE. The church started selling indulgences--pieces of paper that you paid for and would let you out of purgatory early. Luther did NOT agree with this either, because it was not in the Bible.
  • Resume the video.
  • Pause the DVD at 1500 (the screen goes dark after Luther talks about what Jesus did on the cross.)
  • Ask:  Is it because of these indulgences that you go to heaven? (no)  Is it because of the pope or the pastors that you go to heaven? (no)  Is it because you are a nice person that you go to heaven? (no)  Why do we go to heaven? ( because Jesus died on the cross for us)
  • Say:  In this next part, look for several times when people say that God has a plan.
  • Resume the video.
  • Stop the video at 33:42 (when the credits start).
  • Ask:  When did you hear people talking about God's plan?

Reflect/Closure:

Luther learned that we have salvation/go to heaven because of the faith that we have in Jesus. This faith is a gift--we cannot do anything to earn it. Our memory verse talks about that. Let's say it several times:

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves,

it is the gift of God.--Ephesians 2:8

 Closing Prayer


Guide Information

  1.  How the guide might help (this might be changed by the teacher): 
    • Dim the lights when asked before the video starts. Help keep the noise down during the video

Attachments

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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Salvation Stations:  A Journey of Faith

St. John Lutheran Church

Storytelling Station

Story: Martin Luther

Station Summary

The students will hear the story of the Reformation from Martin Luther and "nail" various stickers representing parts of the story to their "doors".

Preparation

  1. Review Bible Background notes.
  2. Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.
  3. Materials List:
    •  Legal (or larger) pieces of brown paper--one per student
    • "God Works Through Martin Luther" worksheets--one per student (see attachment)
    • Tape
    • Costume for Martin Luther (black robe, white shirt, floppy beret)
    • Picture of Luther's childhood home
    • Pictures from the 16th C. of the European concept of purgatory (keep in mind the age of your class because some of these paintings are fairly gruesome!)
    • Big, old Bible
    • A door of some sort on which to nail theses.  (Consider taping the theses to the classroom door or using thumbtacks to "nail" them to a corkboard hung on the classroom door).
    • Thumbtacks or tape.
    • Piece of "parchment" (yellowed, wrinkly paper) with 95 Theses written on it
    • Picture of Wartburg
    • Picture of Luther & Katie & children
    • Copy of Catechism
    • Stickers for each child (heart, cross, Jesus, Bible, musical)
    • Crayons
    • Slips of paper (optional)
    • Pencils (optional)
  4.  Advance Preparation:
    • Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
    • Find someone to play the role of Luther.
    • Make copies of worksheet.
    • Use a search engine to find (and print) images of:  Luther's childhood home, purgatory, Wartburg castle, Luther & Katie & children.
    • Prepare the 95 Theses parchment.
    • Draw black lines and knotholes on the brown paper to make it look like an old wooden door.  Cut the worksheets so there is hardly any border and tape them to the paper "door".


Lesson Introduction

  1. Introduce yourself to the students.
  2. Briefly explain what you will be doing today and what you want them to learn. 
  3. Open with a prayer.

Presentation

Introduction & Bible Story: 

The story will be told by Martin Luther--see below.

 Storytelling Activity:

Say: One of the things that Martin Luther is famous for is nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenburg. [Hand out the door/worksheets and read over the categories quickly]. Martin Luther will be coming to talk to us shortly.  During his talk, you will have a chance to "nail" some stickers to your "door".

 Introduce Martin Luther.

 Guten Morgan, my name is Martin Luther.  I was born in 1483 in Eisleben, Germany to Hans and Margarethe [show picture of house]. That was over 500 years ago--back in the times of knights and castles.  And back in the time of 1492 when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and found America. We were fairly well-to-do as my father was a successful copper miner.

 I went to school and then to University. I was studying to be a lawyer, which made my parents very happy. One day I was caught in a terrible thunderstorm--I was nearly hit by a bolt of lightning! I made a promise that if I survived the storm, I would become a monk in the Catholic church. Obviously I survived and kept my promise. This change in careers made my father VERY unhappy.

 The Catholic church taught that after you died you went to a place called purgatory, that was between heaven and hell. This was a place where people suffered. The Catholic church taught that you had to stay in purgatory until you were good enough to go to heaven. [show/describe the picture of purgatory] By the way, we Lutherans do not believe in purgatory because it is not mentioned in the Bible.

 I tried to be good enough, but I always sinned.  Which is nothing unusual because we are ALL sinners.  I thought God was mad at me and wanted to punish me. In fact, most people believed that.  I was afraid of God--can you believe that!

 One day, I was sent to Wittenberg University to become a professor. I spent a lot of time studying my Bible. [hold up the old Bible and open to Romans]  And I discovered something remarkable as I was reading the book of Romans! The Bible tells us that we receive salvation because of God's grace, because of God's love--NOT because we do good things. [Direct the children to their worksheets--read #1--have them "nail" a heart sticker here]

 God wasn't mad at me because of my sins!  He still loved me.  Do you know what God did so that I could be in heaven with Him someday?      Yes, He sent His Son Jesus to earth to be my Savior--our Savior. [Read #2 on the worksheet--have them "nail" a cross sticker here]

God loves us. God forgives us. Forgiveness and heaven are free gifts of God--they don't have to be earned by good works. But that is NOT what the church said at the time. They said that you could buy your way out of purgatory. [show the picture of purgatory again] The church sold "indulgences".  Indulgences were a piece of paper that said you could escape so many years of punishment in purgatory. That is NOT what it says in the Bible. [Read #3 on the worksheet--have them draw a picture of themselves with a heavenly crown]

 I wanted everyone to know this good news about forgiveness and salvation. I wanted to talk about this with the leaders of the Catholic church, so I wrote down my ideas.  I ended up writing down 95 ideas--they were called the 95 Theses. [hold up the parchment and "nail" it to the door]  I nailed them to the door of the church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517--that is 500 years ago this year. Herr Guttenberg had recently invented the printing press. Copies of my 95 Theses were printed and sent all over Germany.  Many of the people agreed with me and what the Bible said.

 But not everyone agreed with me. Important church leaders said that I was a heretic--that I was not teaching the truth about God's Word. The Pope even excommunicated me--he kicked me out of the Catholic church. Finally, I appeared before Charles the fifth, the emperor over much of Europe, at the Diet of Worms. No, we didn't eat worms!  In those days, a meeting was called a diet.  And this particular meeting--or diet--took place in a town called Worms. They asked me to take back what I had said and written--to say that it wasn't true. But everything I wrote and said was based on the Bible.  So I said:  "I cannot recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I cannot do otherwise.  God help me. Amen!" 

The emperor put me under the Ban, which meant anyone could kill me if I didn't leave the empire. As I left the trial, I was kidnapped by a group of horsemen. Was I about to be killed? No--they had been sent to protect me.  They took me to Wartburg Castle, where I stayed in hiding. [show picture of Wartburg Castle]  I lived here for several years. This is where I translated the New Testament into German.  Now, everyone could read the gospel in his or her own language.  [Read #4 on the worksheet--"nail" a Bible sticker here] 

 My life was not all work. I met a former nun and we got married. Katie and I ended up having 6 children. [show picture of family]  I wanted my children--actually ALL children--to know how much God loved them. So I wrote a book called a catechism. [show the catechism]  It has all sorts of questions and answers about Jesus. [Read #5 on the worksheet--"nail" a Jesus sticker here]

 I also wanted people to learn about Jesus and to praise Jesus with songs in church.  So I wrote many hymns that the people--not just the monks and priests--could sing in church. My most famous hymn is "A Mighty Fortress is our God". [Read #6 on the worksheet--"nail" a musical note sticker here]

 God worked through me--and through others like John Calvin--to reform the incorrect teachings of the Catholic church. That is why it is called the Reformation. We are called Protestants because we protested against these incorrect teachings of the Catholic church.

Reflect/Closure:

Go through the worksheet and have the students tell you what the stickers mean.

Closing Prayer


Additional Suggestions

If there is time, you may wish to sing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

Age Adaptations

Older students:  As an optional activity, hand out slips of paper and pencils. Have them write/draw one thing that they would like people to know about Jesus.  They can then "nail" them to the door and talk about what they had written.

Guide Information

How the guide might help (this might be changed by the teacher):  Assist with handing out the stickers during the story. Hand out slips of paper and pencils if the students will be writing their own theses.

Attachments

Last edited by CathyWalz

Just some ideas you could use to do a Story Table workshop on Martin Luther.

Martin Luther  CharacterMartin Luther Playmobil

Playmobil created a Martin Luther character back in 2015.

It appears to be a discontinued product, but doing an online search I found it on amazon.  I did notice in my search that Concordia has it in stock for $9.99 U.S..

Martin Luther Stop Animation Video

Found a nice 4:32 minute stop animation by
Go Chatter posted on June 2017 on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tox2TflUH90 .  If you click on "Show More" below the video you will see the video script used and a link to Go Chatter where you can download the video for free to show at Sunday School.

For a Story Table Workshop I'd show the video then have the children pick a scene to recreate using Playmobil or Lego.

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  • Martin Luther Playmobil

A number of years ago I did an Art workshop using the Luther rose and Shrinky Dinks. I used the same explanations as done with the Cooking workshop here. I purchased the box of Shrinky Dink material at JoAnn's. 

Thank you, Cathy, for your wonderful Martin Luther lesson plans which I have been using this month!  Your Storytelling Workshop adapted perfectly to a special intergenerational class we held today.  We have a small church and could combine all the kids and adult classes together.  Our pastor played the part of Luther.  Even the adults enjoyed "nailing" the stickers to the "door" worksheet.  We brought in an actual old door (which the kids painted on a prior Sunday) for Mr. Luther to nail the 95 theses.  At the end of the class, lots of people wanted to take "selfies" with Martin Luther, and read the 95 theses on the door.  It was also a good opportunity to promote our Rotation Sunday School class.  The kids will have a chance to nail their own statements of belief to the "Luther door" later in the month.

Mary

 

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