When I was a little girl, our family had a children’s book about Martin Luther. I think it was called Little Martin Luther. It must have been written before full-color books were common, because I remember it was mostly printed in orange and green ink. I can still see the page in my mind where young Martin was singing for his supper. Another page showed a big Bible chained to a podium. Further on in the book, a picture displayed lighting striking a tree next to Martin. Skipping ahead, if I remember correctly, the last page showed him in his bed close to death—knowing Jesus loved him. Maybe you still have that simple hardcover book as a treasure from the past. My copy was lost in a family move. Losing the book was disappointing because I had hoped to read it to my children and grandchildren. But at least I have vivid memories of what some of the pages looked like, along with the uncomplicated version of the story. It impressed me enough to pass the story on in a simple way to today’s children.
Already in my early years of life, that book presented me with someone who loved Jesus so much that he wanted others to know about Him too. Martin’s life was a remarkable journey in which he never gave up but persevered with the help of God for the sake of the Gospel. How wonderful to discover faith alone, grace alone, and Scripture alone! Martin Luther is someone to be admired, but God is always the focus.
Well, here we are today—500 years after the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses on the door! We want to celebrate and thank God for sending His servant Martin Luther. He restored the truth of the Gospel and shared God’s Word with people who needed to read the Holy Scriptures in their own language. In our celebrations, let us teach the simple story of Martin Luther to our children. As we do so, let us all be grateful for the church leaders whom God gives to us today. Perhaps this will spark a strong desire in the young ones to serve as future church workers or as missionaries at home and overseas.
As a father, Martin Luther knew that teaching his children about God was of the highest importance. He followed God’s command as the head of his household and gave us a wonderful teaching tool to use still today—Luther’s Small Catechism. His children were blessed when he taught them about obeying God. He made it interesting and fun while the Holy Spirit worked in their hearts. It was a joy to sing praises with his young ones and have fun together playing games to help the children learn about God’s commands. Luther’s children must have had wonderful memories, along with a yearning to do the same for their own children and grandchildren. My husband and I are thankful for our parents who did that for us. We have passed that on to our children too. And now we are full of joy watching our children continue to pass it on to their children.
There are countless upcoming celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I see parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, and many others instructing children about this hero of faith and servant of God. Even after the 500th mark is complete, let us continue sharing this amazing story. It truly is still all about Jesus. We center our attention on the One who worked in the life of Martin Luther and gave him the power to bravely take a stand for the truth of Scripture and stay faithful to God’s Word. Enjoy sharing the story of Martin Luther with your children! Because it always leads to the story of Jesus . . . and His great love!