Always Reforming (John 8:31-36)
Today is a special day in the calendar of the church. It is the day when we remember something that happened on October 31, 1517. That was 504 years ago today! On that day, Martin Luther nailed a paper to the door of his church in Germany that had a list of 95 things (called the “95 Theses”) that he wanted to discuss about ways he thought the church should change. Martin Luther wanted the church to reform. Reform means to make changes in order to improve. Martin Luther thought his changes would improve the church. Some people agreed with him and some did not. Lutheran began what is known as the Reformation. Those who agreed with Luther became part of Lutheran and other Protestant churches (those church who agreed with at least some of the changes Luther wanted). It’s important to know that the church Luther was trying to change so many years ago has also changed and reformed.
Watch this video together to learn more about Luther:
On this special day that we call Reformation Sunday, what we celebrate is the truth that we are made right with God, that our sins are forgiven, because of Jesus. It’s not because of anything we do, but it is because God loves us with a love so strong that nothing can separate us from it. We are children of God and nothing can change that. While God’s love for us doesn’t change, the church is called to change. As God’s people called and gathered by the Holy Spirit to be the church, we are called to follow where God leads us. Whether we are together or apart, we are the church, because the church is God’s people, and the church is always changing, always improving, always reforming, as follow God.
Martin Luther make a promise to God when he was caught in a thunderstorm. When have you made a promise?
The Bible helped Martin Luther learn about God. Who helps you learn about God?
What reminds you of God’s love?
Jesus Loves Me. Go Fish Guys. I love this version of Jesus Loves Me by the Go Fish Guys. This one has some motions. Why not follow along and do the motions?
Martin Luther wrote songs and hymns. One of his most famous is called “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” Watch this video of this song performed by 176 people from 34 countries. The person who coordinated this project plays the piano and different brass instruments and sings two different parts. See how many times you can spot him!
Download these two sheets. One is Luther’s seal, often called the Luther Rose. It tells you what colors to color it and what it represents. Use the second sheet to create your own seal to tell others about you and what you believe.
God, we thank you that nothing that can separate us from your love. We thank you for the church. Help us always be reforming so that we can always grow closer to you and closer to one another. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Fugate, Assistant to the Bishop for Discipleship in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA, put this lesson together for Sunday School @ Home. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.