I love Lutheran schools. I believe in the mission and ministry that is possible within Lutheran schools. I respect the tradition of educational excellence that has been and continues to be a part of our schools.
We are into another National Lutheran Schools Week. This week we celebrate Lutheran schools and the privilege we have to share God’s Word in them. I was reflecting on the number of lives — including my own — that have been impacted by Lutheran schools, and I decided to share a devotion I wrote last year during National Lutheran Schools Week.
Thank you for your support and commitment to Lutheran schools, especially Concordia Lutheran High School. Our Lutheran schools continue to be important in educating and training the future generations of strong Christian leaders in our community. When it comes down to what is most important, Lutheran schools share Christ. As the theme for National Lutheran Schools Week this year states, “It’s still all about Jesus.” That is and will continue to be important for eternity!
I am wearing comfortable clothes again today, as are many of my fellow teachers. Today, I am happy to be celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week for this reason, and many others. When I think about why Lutheran Schools are important, though, I think it may be more appropriate for us to wear camo during Lutheran Schools Week.
Let me explain …
I have been asked many times what makes Lutheran schools different. Some people say that there are many good, Christian teachers in public schools, and this is true. Some people get upset about behaviors that happen in Lutheran schools, saying “that just shouldn’t happen in a Christian school.” They are right. I have responded in the past by saying that Lutheran schools are filled with sinful students, who are brought by sinful parents, and taught by sinful teachers who are led by sinful administrators. The difference is that Jesus is here, too, and we can deal with the challenges of this life with the guidance of God’s Word and under His grace and love. I still feel this is true, but I think there is even more to it.
Lutheran schools are important because you come to a Lutheran school to prepare for battle.
You don’t come to Concordia Lutheran High School to be sheltered from reality. You come to learn how to be prepared to fight. You must be prepared academically for the challenges you will face after you leave this place. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to complete that training. Even more important, though, is the hard work and dedication for your spiritual training. Ephesians 6 makes is clear that Satan isn’t going to take it easy on us. It says:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
I consider it a privilege to be a part of your training team. I consider it a privilege to be able to pray for you and with you when you are struggling. I know other teachers and staff members feel the same way. We are in training together. Last week we heard a devotion about the ways Satan lies to us. He watches us for weaknesses and vulnerabilities and exploits those for his purposes. But are we defenseless against him? No! We know the outcome of the war because Christ has won that for us. The battles of each day are fierce, but we are equipped with Truth, with Righteousness, with Peace, with Faith, and with Salvation to protect us. And we are given the Sword of the Spirit that is God’s Word to fight against the forces of Satan.
The struggles are real, the battles are fierce, and we are not able to hide. So, be strong, be ready, stand firm with one another … and fight.