Editor’s note: In conjunction with this month’s cover story, we’re offering you a special “Media in ministry” page highlighting a variety of resources to help you and your congregation commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year.
What does it mean to be Lutheran at this point in history, in the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation? You will find in the following selections a smorgasbord of ideas and suggested readings to enhance your reflection on this significant historical moment.
Reformation 500 Calendar (Concordia Publishing House). Both educational and attractive, this commemorative calendar shares history through interesting facts and beautiful photography.
Reformation 500 Sourcebook (Augsburg Fortress, 2016). We’ve highlighted this resource before, and it’s truly a must-have compilation for congregations interested in observing the Reformation anniversary throughout 2017. It offers ideas for worship, education and service. It also includes “For Further Exploration,” introducing you to even more books, films and videos, and websites. (Includes artwork CD-ROM.)
40-Day Journey with Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2008). This devotional includes daily prayers and journal exercises that offer the reader a meaningful journey in a concentrated period of time. Perhaps you might find this a useful devotional tool for this Lenten season?
Day by Day We Magnify You: Daily Readings for the Entire Year (Augsburg Books, 2008). The daily readings are drawn from Martin Luther’s sermons and other works. Suggested Scripture readings, Luther’s reflections and prayers are included for your daily meditation.
For a much more in-depth daily study, you may be interested in the downloadable A Guide to a Year’s Readings in Luther’s Works (Concordia Publishing House, 1983).
Inside the Reformation (Concordia Publishing House, 2012). This book provides a wonderful visual journey through the Reformation. It’s designed for elementary-age children through young adults, but all ages will appreciate the attention to detail it provides of everyday life during the time of the Reformation.
When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015): A fast-paced novel guaranteed to engage youth in the meaning of Luther’s life and the Reformation. This book could be enjoyed and discussed in many settings, including confirmation classes.
For group or individual adult studies
Together by Grace: Introducing the Lutherans (Augsburg Fortress, 2016). Come and explore the rich legacy of Luther and the Reformation. Lifelong Lutherans and those new to the Lutheran faith will journey around the world to discover “Who are the Lutherans?” through the writings of various authors.
October 31, 1517 (Paraclete Press, 2016). Small in size, but packed with valuable content, you will find in this book a wonderful summary and meditation on Luther’s 95 Theses.
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses (Fortress Press, 2016). Another excellent look at Luther’s 95 Theses that offers study groups an excellent set of discussion questions. Two additional documents are Luther’s letter to Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz and his 1518 sermon on indulgences and grace.
The Forgotten Luther: Reclaiming the Social-Economic Dimension of the Reformation (Lutheran University Press, 2016). This book is born out of the Forgotten Luther Symposium, held in Washington, D.C., in November 2015. The presentations are included in this volume, along with Scripture texts and thoughtful questions for discussion. Anyone committed to the mission of the church will find these writings engaging.
From Conflict to Communion (Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2013) and the accompanying Study Guide provide excellent resources for study. As Pope John XXIII stated: “The things that unite us are greater than those that divide us.” The reader will find these places of unity lifted up while also acknowledging the suffering caused by the division of the church. This ecumenical work on a worldwide level is a must-read for Lutherans and Catholics.
Common Prayer: From Conflict to Communion provides a liturgical order for Lutherans and Catholics to join together in worship looking back, and yet ahead, as we continue our journey together. Find these resources at elca.org.
One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ (Augsburg Fortress, 2015). Three Lutheran and three Catholic scholars gathered to create a resource with a hope for greater understanding of where unity in the church currently exists and where our hope for unity is shared. Each chapter contains discussion questions to better facilitate conversation in adult study groups.
Annotated Luther (study editions) (Fortress Press). Four of the Annotated Luther Volumes 1-6 are now available and well worth your time. Adult study groups and individual readers will find the study editions very accessible and the discussion guides perfect for conversation on Luther’s Works.
Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, and Eucharist (Augsburg Fortress, 2016). This book is a collection of “Statements of Agreement” formed over 50 years of ground-breaking worldwide Lutheran-Catholic dialogue. It also recognizes our journey together “on the way” as not all differences have been reconciled. Perfect for adult study groups or individual study.
By no means is this list exhaustive. For more resources, visit, elca500.org, elca.org or lutheranworld.org. Also check out the following pages on Facebook: ELCA, ELCA Reformation 500, the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers and the Lutheran World Federation.