As you may know, Reformation Day is coming up in just a few weeks. While Reformation 2017 is going to be the big celebration (500 years since the beginning of the Reformation), there’s still 2016 to celebrate. To make your planning for both 2016 and 2017 a bit easier, here are a few web based resources for preparing your celebration.
What would a holiday be without a bit of merchandise to celebrate? While we won’t expect the over the top commercialism of many religious celebrations turned secular-ish (I’m looking at you, Mr. Claus…), we still are seeing a number of vendors preparing products for sale around the Reformation anniversary.
CPH has long been the favorite and go-to place for Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod folks to shop, and they’ve prepared well for the Reformation. They’ve got a variety of gift products (Anyone want to send me a Luther Court sign for my office?) as well as a vast selection of study Bibles and Martin and Katie Biographies.
In addition to CPH’s normal supply of great theological texts, like the Essential Lutheran Library, they’re also stocking the Playmobile Little Luther, which is always fun to hide around your pastor’s office.
Free Reading Material
Gifts are nice, and we’ll no doubt see some fun and clever products as we near Reformation 500, there’s still probably no better way to celebrate than to learn more about God and His great love for His people. To that end, a number of organizations from Synods to seminaries have put together wonderful collections of freely available materials to get you started in reading through the Reformation.
My home church, so I may be a bit biased, but one of the best sites out there for information around the Reformation. With resources for teachers, worship planners, media folks and more, there’s something here for everyone. Well worth taking the time to explore the resources they’ve put together here, and it appears there’s more yet to come!
My employer, as well as my website, so I’m definitely biased, but CTSFW has worked to put together a tremendous wealth of resources on their media site, including decades worth of chapel sermons, Lutheran Hour sermons, journal articles and more.
This particular collection is a hand curated one dealing with some of the best and most relevant readings around the Lutheran Reformation. It’s been put together and continues to be added to by Rev. Robert Smith. If you’re not already his friend on Facebook, it’s worth tuning in just to partake of the wealth of great information he posts daily. We lovingly refer to it as the “Bob News Network”.
My alma mater, just to complete the circle of things I’m biased about. CSL has put together a wonderful page with a number of great resources, but central to it is the timeline they’ve designed detailing the events of the Reformation. There’s a lot here for everyone from pastors to laypeople, worship planners to teachers. Take some time to dig in.
The offerings from Luther Seminary are a bit sparse right now, but it appears there may be some informative seminars for laypeople if you live in the area. Keep an eye out to see if more resources get added with time.
CCEL has a number of resources by all of the Church fathers, and Luther is no exception. There’s a number of freely available texts and even a few audio versions for your daily commute. Share and enjoy!
We’re only a year away from the big celebration, which means now is the time to start planning, purchasing and learning. Have you found any resources which are particularly helpful in your Reformation 500 planning? Are there any congregations who are planning fun or unique ways to celebrate that you’d like to share?
Reformation is one of those quintessentially Lutheran things, but in the midst of all the fuss and celebration, remember the core of what this is all about:
Reminding people that God has loved us with an eternal love and that for our sake Christ lived, died and rose. We are forgiven and free on account of His great love for us. As we celebrate in fun and meaningful ways, let’s make sure we keep the Gospel central to all we do.
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