Godly Play on Reformation Sunday

I’ve posted here about how I’ve made some changes to GP in order to use it in a Lutheran setting.  Along the same lines I felt that I needed to do something special for Reformation Sunday since we consider it an important Sunday in church history.

GP has a technique called an object box for telling biography.  I thought that an object box on Martin Luther was perfect for Reformation Sunday.  In an object box there are 3 or 4 items to illustrate the biography.  As the storyteller tells the person’s story she puts the items on the underlay around a picture of the person.  There is also a pamphlet in the object box with a short writeup of the person’s bio so students can tell themselves the story.

Here for your Reformation enjoyment is the completed visual for Martin Luther along with the story as it is written in the pamphlet.



Martin Luther was born in Germany on November 10, 1483. Martin was a brilliant student so his father sent him to university to study law. However, a sudden thunderstorm changed his life!

Martin was returning from visiting his parents when a lightning bolt knocked him to the ground. He cried out to St. Anne and promised that if she saved him he would become a monk. He survived the storm. He kept his promise and became a monk. His father was furious since he had hoped his son would become a wealthy lawyer and support him in his old age.

Martin was as good a monk as he had been as a student. He followed all the rules and commandments as completely as he could. But he did not feel that he was good enough no matter how hard he tried.

Martin became a teacher at the university in Wittenberg. There he continued to study. In those days most people could not read. The Bible was in Latin anyway. Since he was a monk and could read Latin, he read the bible. There he found his answer on how to feel saved. In St. Paul’s letters he read that God’s grace is a gift to everyone. You don’t have to be “good enough” you just need to realize you are loved by God and saved by grace.

Martin was very excited to read about grace in the bible. He wanted to talk to others in the church about these ideas, but no one was interested! In the church there had grown up the idea that people were saved by good works, following the rules, and by paying money.

Martin put together a list of 95 theses (ideas) that he wanted to talk to other churchmen about. On October 31, 1517, he nailed them to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

Still no one wanted to talk about his ideas, but the list got him into a lot of trouble. The people in control wanted him to take back what he had written, but he said, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen!”

Martin’s friends carried him away into hiding for his own safety. While he was alone and in hiding he translated the New Testament of the Bible into German so more people could read it for themselves.

Martin’s friends helped him find a place where he could be safe and preach. He helped people to bring the church back closer to what is said in the Bible. He also wrote the Small and Large Catechisms for teaching adults and children.

Martin lived a long life preaching and helping people find their own way to God. He married and had 6 children. He had many students from all over the Christian world. He loved music and made sure it was part of his new order of worship.

Over the rest of his life he would translate the rest of the Bible into German and write many letters, sermons, and hymns.

We remember Martin Luther on the last Sunday of October, Reformation Sunday, because he taught us to read the bible for ourselves and accept God’s grace.

About Linda Miller

I am a retired teacher, the mother of two daughters, and the grandmother of three children. I co-chair the Sunday school at LCH and am very proud of what we do in our program. In my spare time I teach knitting to children at two local schools.
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