by Michael Waugh
But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:24-27
Lutheran schools, their leaders, and their communities, have faithfully served the Lord for over one hundred years. Over that span of time, countless students have engaged in the time honored and Biblical traditions that, at our core, laid the foundation of our past and still make us who we are today. Chapel, religion classes, prayer in our classrooms, relationships with our students, educational excellence, and Jesus at the center of it all are the hallmarks of Lutheran education. These traditions have described our schools for the past century and will continue to do so as long as we engage families and their children with a Christ-centered education.
When I use this lens to view the enormity of our synod, both past and present, I can’t help but feel humbled by the grace God has provided for our schools. And yet, I can honestly say that I don’t always use this lens of humbleness to thank God for the work he is doing in my school, both through me and around me, to teach his children. Instead, too often I spend time thinking about my personal shortcomings, the failure to accomplish the various tasks that have been set before me, frustrations with enrollment, and the relentlessness of the operating budget. Needless to say, it’s easy to lose sight of the many blessings God has bestowed upon each of our schools.
1 Corinthians 12 speaks to the nature of our schools and the care we share for one another in Christ. Through our trials, successes, and failures, Jesus will knit us together once again as one body with many parts to accomplish his purposes in the hearts of our students. This year, some schools will be given great honor while others will feel like none has been given. And yet, it is at these very moments of weakness, and glory, that we suffer or rejoice together as one body in Christ. It is at these times, when reflection upon the work God has done in our synod lifts my spirit.
“I don’t know you, but I’m praying for you.” These were words that were shared with me during my first experience at the annual ALSS conference four years ago in relation to my school and its leadership. I found brothers and sisters who were praying for me, even though they did not even know my name. And so that is my prayer for you this school year. As the excitement fades and the school year settles into its natural rhythm, remember that you have people who don’t even know your name and they are praying for you, for deliverance from sorrow, and for joy that can only be found in the Lord.
God’s blessings on your school year.
Michael Waugh is the Assistant Principal of Academics at Milwaukee Lutheran High School.
He can be reached at mwaugh@MilwaukeeLutheran.org.