I'm not going to try to argue that you should adopt my family's stance on this issue as I truly believe this is a matter of conscience just like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. I would never try to convince anyone to betray their conviction on those matters and think this is an area where the gospel compels us to be respectful of each others' decisions rather than eye-rolling haters. ;)
So that's my little caveat, BUT did you know that another uber-exciting thing happened on October 31st that is well worth taking time to teach our kiddos about? A historic event in the life of the Church?
You may or may not know that on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther (not the King, Jr. one, but the guy he was named after who was born hundreds of years earlier) nailed 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. (Here's a look at those 95 controversial statements that he put forth. Most of them are about how the pope does not actually have the authority that he claims he does.)
That may seem insignificant or even boring, but the truth is it is often pinpointed as the beginning of the Reformation. This also may seem insignificant, but a few minutes of study reveals that the Church at this time was sadly, very corrupt, steeped in superstition, and loaded with false doctrines. They told people that if they would give the church money they could "buy" people's way out of hell. They had a very works oriented view of salvation. In reality, they had pretty much lost sight of the gospel.
During all of this his 95 Theses were published and people went crazy! Tons of people supported his thoughts and this made the Catholic church leaders upset, to say the least. In the end, Luther was called before the corrupt church leaders and told he must recant.
He did not.
At the time, all Bibles were in Latin, so the average joe couldn't read it and had to just learn based on what their leaders read and explained. Martin Luther began to study the Bible for himself and was shocked by what he found about the gospel within it's pages (namely that salvation was by grace and through faith, not by works). He became passionate about making sure that everyone could understand this and even translated the Bible into German so that everyday people could read it.
And the rest is an incredible story of God sparing his life and spreading the truths presented in Luther's works like wildfire. Many people heard and understood the gospel for the first time during this time and millions have heard it since as a result. If you are a Protestant, your church and likely understanding of Scripture and salvation are largely based on the work begun by Martin Luther.
If reading about history is not your cup of tea, how about watching this important and fascinating piece of the Church's history? I rarely watch movies, but this one called Luther, is really well done (like Hollywood quality, not Hallmark) and surprisingly accurate. I recommend it for a post kid's bed time date with your hubby. It's sadly out of print, so new copies that you can find are pretty expensive, but there are quite a few used ones available and I'm guessing you could find it at a movie rental place or your local library too. Definitely one to try to add to the library (or borrow from me if you live close! :)
So, whether dressing up and candy and pumpkins and all that stuff are a part of this time of year for you or not, I think as believers we would all do well to pause and reflect on this important time in church history and pass the excitement on to our children. :) I'll be sharing some children's books (including a giveaway) and fun Reformation Day ideas this week that you can do with your own family this year!
Here are some other great articles with information you might find helpful:
What Is Reformation Day All About?