In every Lutheran School where I have served, the theme of “family” has always been a part of the culture that attracts parents to the school. Often times, when parents are questioned about why they send their kids to the Lutheran school, the response is something along the line of “It just feels like a family”. Being that I have served in a few Lutheran schools in various parts of the state and country, this common answer always gets my attention. I believe that this family atmosphere is a natural product of people living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Luke gives us a good picture of a healthy family atmosphere in the early church in his writings in Acts. He writes:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47 English Standard Version).
What an amazing community that must have been. Can we mirror this at Christ Lutheran Church and School? I propose that we already are. In my short time here, I have witnessed people giving of themselves in many ways to help the community at Christ. I have seen:
+A mother who gives of her time daily to transport kids that are not her own to Christ
+Volunteers who give of their time and talents to deep clean and paint our bathrooms
+People who volunteer regularly to help Mrs. Bhatti with our hot lunch program
+A subscriber to our newsletter from outside of our community that purchased a microscope for our middle school science program
+Our teachers, who tirelessly give of themselves to make our program the best that it can be
+Many other people who anonymously and generously give random gifts to benefit the ministry
+Adoption of my family into the family at Christ with many encouraging words and gifts
In all of this, I am sure that I am missing something. Look around our church and school on any day and you will see many people who volunteer their time, talents, and treasures to keep things running smoothly.
Is this family perfect? Absolutely not. We are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory. Like any family, our schools have their ups and downs. But in the end, we all call the same God, “Father”.
This fact that we share the same father helps us get through the struggles that inevitably come in a sinful world. When we meet together in worship, we confess together our sins and receive His forgiveness. This is what makes our Lutheran schools different. In a world that lives in darkness, our schools are a shining city on a hill. To God be the glory.