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Raising People in the Light

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Raising People in the Light

It’s February here in Cape Girardeau. I said to one of the parishioners, “I hear it’s been a mild February winter.” They replied, “It feels more like spring.” I said, “Though I am from California, I am not praying for a mild winter.” I am enjoying it though. I was told though that the snow any still show up anytime before Easter. The groundhog apparently saw his shadow, so maybe there will be six weeks snow ahead of us.

While putting your hope in a groundhog may not be the brightest thing to do, putting your hope in a good school is. In the Cape Girardeau area, there is a grade school and a high school that are both Lutheran. I, myself, have never attended a Lutheran School until I arrived at Concordia University, Irvine. To see the students learn about how things work and why they work is a part of being raised in school. But to have a school with a Christ-centered education is even better.

The mission statement for the Lutheran High School states that “it exists to center students on Christ and God’s Word, to strive for excellence in all phases of education, and to prepare students for a life of Christian discipleship using God’s Word as their Guide.” The school has a foundation where they are able to explore truth and their talents and at the same time be used for God’s glory. The foundation and mission are important, for Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

As teenagers are being raised to become responsible for themselves and not rely on their parents for everything, they are seeking to explore things that were never really a concern for them before. So those who are raised Christian are wondering why Jesus and not Buddha. The questions aren’t so much out of doubt of their own understanding and faith. Rather, they are trying to understand how their lifestyle is different from another. And why are these other things not worth bringing into my life. And this Christ-centered education covers subjects including English, math, science, and history. The education enables the students to have a better understanding of how God affects every area of their life and not just their morals or Sunday morning worship. They aren’t left to figure out for themselves how to make the connections what is truth and how it all connects. And as the students have this holistic education, the students’ lives are reflecting what God has called them to do.

One time the Lutheran school band had returned to their school from a performance. When they had arrived, students inside the school had come out on their own to help with moving the instruments back into the school. They did it out of their care and genuine love for their friends. They didn’t feel obligated to help another person out.

Let me also share with you another story. When the Lutheran school basketball team went to another school to play a game, the team had learned when they arrived that the national anthem was going to be played from an audio recording. In response one of the team members stepped up and said that he would sing the anthem. He felt no obligation to perform, and he performed well. This story is just another example of how this school strives for excellence and enjoys using their talents for God’s glory.

At both schools, I have had the privilege of getting to know the teachers, students, and their activities. Also, the schools have given me the privilege of giving a devotion to the students of the school. Seeing what these schools are doing is refreshing, for they are setting an example for the rest of the world. The students are being filled with the light of Christ and as they finish school and go out into the world and share the light with others. As Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). And also Scripture says, “Jesus spoke, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12). Let all that these schools are doing be used for God’s glory.

God’s blessings,
Vicar Sylvan Finger