Tag Archives: LCMS

Condolences

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CLS Student cards outside of 97.5FM Studio

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1-4 English Standard Version).

As an adult, I often struggle with the right words to say, especially in situations of grieving. I don’t know how many funerals I have attended where the only words that seem to come out of my mouth are jumbled, awkward, and wrong. Knowing this about myself, I observed something interesting about how kids deal with such situations.

A few weeks ago, in an attempt to promote a fundraiser and Christ Lutheran, our PTL set up radio interviews with some of our local radio stations. Over the course of three days, some students, a teacher, and I were to meet with different radio personnel at the radio station. As the dates for the interviews drew closer, a local tragedy occurred. If you follow the news in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area, you may know that one of our local radio station personalities was killed last week. Understandably, the radio station was shaken and working to retain some kind of normalcy in the middle of their grieving. Through some changes in scheduling, the interviews were still able to take place, but with the tragedy at the forefront of everyone’s mind, things were different. Adding to the sorrow and confusion, many television news cameras were on site at the radio station on the morning of our first interview.

In an attempt to express our condolences, some students at Christ created sympathy cards for the workers at the radio station. I am often surprised by the things that kids share at times of suffering. Sometimes I worry about whether they will say something that may be considered unsympathetic. In this case, as in most like it that I have experienced, kids surprise me with the heartfelt sympathy that they give. In this case, the students created cards that expressed sympathy far better than I ever could have. One radio personality, Brenda Layne at WSJM 94.9FM said, “I read every card, and there was such wonderful wisdom in some of them, some cards even had full bible verses, others just had maybe a comment or two here or there, but all such wonderful words from such little children.”

This all brings me back to the common theme I have written about, that our Lutheran schools do more than just academics. Our schools, led by well trained and faithful teachers, instruct students to be good stewards of their time, talents, and treasures in honor to God. They are instructed to love the Lord and their neighbor as themselves. With this as a foundation our students make a difference in the community and world sharing the love of Christ, even in something as simple as condolence cards for grieving people.

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Treasures

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Have you ever found yourself wondering about how the building and grounds that we call Christ Lutheran became what it currently is? As a new person in ministry here, I find myself pondering these kinds of things. One such incident occurred when we first visited. The first thing that struck me was the three crosses on the hill near the exit to our campus. This was one of the first things I associated with Christ Lutheran. Being that they were at the top of a small hill, I thought it quite fitting for a Lutheran church and school.

Sometimes late at night when everyone is gone and the building is quiet, a person can get a lot of work done. The setting of late night work in an empty building affords one many opportunities to consider the setting. When alone in such a setting, I often find myself taking little breaks from work to walk around the building. While walking around, I usually think about the people that built Christ Lutheran. It is during times like this that I think of the sacrifices that people in the past made to build such a place where believers can worship and send their kids to receive a Christian education. This reminds me of Matthew’s words where he states “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, ESV). How many people past and present poured their hearts into the place we call Christ Lutheran? One can only guess, but if you pay attention, you will see them.

All of this is not to say that we should hold a building in a higher regard than we ought. After all, the church and the school is about the people. But the desks, the halls, the bricks and the mortar, they are a reminder of the dedication of many who came before us that shared the same purpose. The times have changed, but the reason that we are here is the same. Our heavenly Father who gave up his Son for us is the author and perfecter of the universe. He is at the center of what we do here. This fact is especially important for a school such as ours, for a true education must have at its center the creator. Otherwise our tendency as sinful humans is toward making the center, the created.