October 31: NOT a Non-Holiday for Christians

October 31 is not a non-holiday for Christians.  In fact, this specific day probably holds more significance in the context of church history than any number of explanations for the secular “trick-or-treat” holiday geared toward children.  One of the seminal events in the history of the church took place 495 years ago today, on October 31, 1517.  Martin Luther, a German Monk with a hunger for God’s Word, nailed his famous 95 theses to a church door, sparking a movement that would forever change the Christian church.

One scholar described it this way:

“On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther tacked up 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg. With this act, he hoped to provoke a discussion among the scholars about the abuses of the indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church.  He was not trying to create a public furor by any means, but within a fortnight, these theses had spread through the country like wildfire. The last thing Luther had in mind was to start some kind of major controversy, but nevertheless major controversy did begin.” —R.C. Sproul

Here’s a short article on the history of this great day.   

In the Murch house we celebrate this wonderful day by giving candy out to funny looking people who come to our door.  I told my soon to be 5-year old Olivia that today was “Reformation Day.”  She asked, “Is Reformation Day Halloween?”  I said, “No, Halloween is the pretend day, Reformation Day is the real day we celebrate today.”  She looked puzzled, so I gave her a Tootsie Roll.  Now she loves Reformation Day. 

I know this is last minute, and you’ve probably already decided either 1) to not dress up, or 2) to dress up as the latest and greatest super hero.  Here are a few costume ideas if you really want to celebrate Reformation Day in style:

Be Martin Luther  (It’s all in the hat):

Or John Calvin (the beard is key):

Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli (remember the Bible):

Or Philipp Melanchthon

Whatever reformer you choose to go as this year, make sure you keep in mind one of the central themes of the Reformation as you celebrate this night: Soli Deo Gloria.

About Pastor Andrew

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Carissa, Daddy to four daughters, Lead Pastor at LifePoint Church in Vancouver, WA.
This entry was posted in 2theSource, For Pastors, Life @ LPC and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to October 31: NOT a Non-Holiday for Christians

  1. Jeanine Cowan says:

    Thanks Andrew, for the info and the good laugh. I know exactly who I am going to be next year!! LOL

  2. Well-I actually reformed this year, in that, this is the tenth year I have lived in this house, and the first year that I have entertained funny looking little(mostly) people with the act of giving out treats. I found it to be a very delightful experience once again, and even made the effort of making yummy carmel corn, and packaged it in little baggies. I was pleased in that many of the guests seemed delighted to get such a treat:) Thank you for sharing this positive side of this day. I too had been taught the history of the reformer Martin Luther, and of what this date represents. While living in Germany, I had the privilege of seeing the church and the door to which he nailed his thesis to. Such history!

  3. Nannette Myers says:

    Thanks Andrew for the history lesson. My husband is a history buff. I am going to see if he actually knows about what this great day really stands for. I’ll let you know what I find out. God Bless Nannette

  4. Regie says:

    We had a great Hallowed Reformation Day at my house, there were so many little cuties dressed up, but non dressed as any of the great reformers unless the reformers sometimes dressed as ninjas.

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