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Posted by Rachel H on June 22, 2009
Martin Luther Background
Martin Luther was a true hero in every sense of the word. Over 500 years ago, Martin Luther said these words, “Here, I stand,” Martin Luther stood for his faith and stood out for God.
He was born in Germany in 1483 to Hans and Margaret Luther, and baptized the next day – St. Martin’s Day – which is how he got his name. Martin was seen as a gifted child right away. He began school at the age of 4 ½. He received much education and was going to become a lawyer.
Then, he was frightened in a lightning storm and promised God he would join the church and become a monk. At the time the Catholic Church was telling people that you could give an offering, called an indulgence, in order to receive the forgiveness of your sin. The bigger the sin, the more money you were expected to give.
Martin Luther eventually stood up against the Catholic Church and its leader, the Pope. He said that the Bible he read told him we can’t earn or deserve God’s forgiveness. But, because Jesus died on the cross for us, we can receive forgiveness by grace, through faith, in Jesus.
The Emperor of the time, Edward V, wanted to talk to Luther so he called him to the town called Worms. There he had all of Luther’s books and asked him to recant, or take back, all he had written about the church. Luther didn’t realize he was going to Worms to be on trial, but he wouldn’t take back what he had written. The Emperor called him a “devil”.
Luther began what was called the Protestant movement to protest what was going wrong in the church. Eventually, he began the Lutheran church. To protest, Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church doors at Wittenberg. He did this on October 31, 1517. We refer to this day as Reformation Day. Reformation means change. This day changed the world.
Because he stood for his faith. Luther was even threatened with death. He hid for a year at a place called Wartburg Castle. While he was there, Luther translated the Bible from Latin, Hebrew and Greek into the everyday language of the German people. That had never been done before. Luther also wrote many church hymns, including “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. He also wrote 25 books and the small and large catechism to help teach people the basics of the Christian faith, such as the Ten Commandments, the Apostles Creed, and the sacraments.
Luther was married to a wonderful lady named Katie, and together they had 6 children. They also took care of many nieces, nephews, and foster children.
Luther created a symbol of his faith, or theology, known as Luther’s Seal or Luther’s Rose. It is designed with a
- White rose which stands for trust in Jesus.
- The black cross in the center reminds us that Jesus died on the cross for us.
- The red heart reminds us that God gives us life.
- The blue background symbolizes everlasting life in heaven
- And the gold circle around the outside shows how God’s love has no beginning and no end.
- Sometimes we see green leaves surrounding the white rose to show that God helps all things live and grow.
In early 1546 Martin Luther traveled to Eisleben, the town where he had been born. While he was there he caught a chill and died.
Without Luther there would be no Lutheran church. Without Luther we wouldn’t be able to read the Bible in our own language. Without Martin Luther we might not know that we are made right with God by grace, through faith, in Jesus. Who knows how far wrong the church would have gone if Martin Luther hadn’t stood up for his faith. Will you stand up for your faith, too?
Posted by Cathy W on June 07, 2010
I would appreciate some ideas for our Reformation program, which will be happening in October.
Our church does not do a Christmas program every year; instead, we do programs at various times in the church year. We have done Christmas, Epiphany, the Last Supper. Next fall, we are doing a Reformation program. We are Lutheran, so the main focus will be Martin Luther.
We do not do a stand-alone program. Instead, we are a part of the second service. Our part of the service lasts 15-20 minutes. Generally, we sing 2 songs (one for younger kids, one for older), do some sort of short drama/skit, and do "something else". In the past, the something else has included: a choral reading of the Bible story (Last Supper), a candle-lit procession with readings (Epiphany) and a Christmas poem--with each line starting with C, then H, then R....
The only time we rehearse is during Sunday School (which lasts 45 minutes). We take 3-4 Sundays to prepare for the program and then present it at the second service that last week.
I know it is early, but I am trying to get as much done this summer, especially since rehearsals will start in September!!