Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23, 2012

Preparing For Reformation Day: Check-List

Are you planning to celebrate Reformation Day on October 31st? Many churches consider it a fun and meaningful substitute for Halloween, and, if you like, harvest elements can still be incorporated into the celebration. (For instance, I enjoy the “pumpkins, hay-bales, and spooky late-night hayrides with owls hooting in the bare branches” aspect of Halloween, but not the “bloody guts ’n gore” monster type of thing). If you have in mind to put together a Reformation Day party to honor the start of the Protestant movement and the heralding of the “five solas” of the Reformation, here are some ideas:

1.    Dress up. Anyone who dresses up for Halloween can certainly do it on Reformation Day. You might want to avoid the monster, vampire, and witch costumes and choose something a little more benign. Last year I dressed up as Martin Luther, complete with a hammer and the “95 Theses.” I would suggest a costume that isn’t immodest or overly “Halloween-y.” Making costumes is always fun, and they don’t have to be anything fancy or over budget. Use your imagination.

2.    Eat! German food (or Pennsylvania Dutch favorites) is always good and hearty. Putting together a 16th century buffet is another option. (Be prepared for big hunks of meat and delicately-constructed desserts with lots of marzipan). A Reformation Day bash doesn’t need food, but no party is quite so exciting without it.

3.    Study. Read the 95 Theses. Learn what they really mean, and speculate as to what Martin Luther meant when he penned them. Be a student of Reformation history and Reformation theology. Dig deep. Read the Bible and debate with yourself or with friends. After all, being able to read the Bible and interpret for oneself was a *huge* development of the Protestant movement.

4.    See if any area churches have anything planned. Many churches will mention Reformation Day or at least have some kind of a “harvest festival” that takes the edge off Halloween and its undue creepiness.

5.    Remember. Reformation Day is arguably the birthday of the Protestant Reformation (though of course there were many factors in place even earlier in time) and many lost their lives for the faiths that sprang from the Reformation. Find lists of martyrs; remember ancestors who might have been persecuted for their beliefs.

Have fun, be proud, and commemorate!

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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