Oh, to be a Lutheran school teacher or principal! It’s exhausting and exhilarating. It’s learning and teaching. But it's mostly about sharing the sweet message of Jesus.
This past Friday, 285 teachers and principals gathered at Concordia Lutheran High School for The Lutheran Schools Partnership’s annual Winter Professional Development Day. There was worship. There was learning. There was food and fellowship.....all on a day off from classroom responsibilities.
Days like these are energizing. It may take some coffee to kick start the early morning but when 285 Lutheran teachers and administrators get together to laugh, share and learn, the energy is high.
For me, I listened a lot and then take some time to reflect. Here are a few those tidbits. While today’s audience was specific, the ideas shared were broadly appropriate for anyone reading this post.
What are the ramifications of being so headlong, intensely devoted to one’s occupation that we don’t find time for being wholly ready for all that life entails? It’s hard to keep on keepin’ on if the spiritual and physical tanks go dry. It’s also difficult to be confident in the ability to share Jesus if we are not intimately connected to the gifts that He shares. How’s that prayer life? What’s regular Bible study activity look like? Worshiping weekly?
Colossians 4:3-4 was referenced with an emphasis on being ready to share how Jesus has impacted each of our lives. Ready means praying to be ready. Ready means being aware of opportunities. Ready means lining up with God’s will. Being Ready doesn’t happen by accident. Being ready is being intimately connected to Jesus so its best that we are talking to Him in prayer and listening to Him in Word and worship.
Two statements that were made that I’ll combine to make one comment. First, we sometimes complain about our living space or workspace. It’s a very challenging world that we live in. Second, we often feel the burden of life and find it hard to handle. To all this we remember Jesus...who as God, and perfect in every way, chose to put on human flesh and reside with us, not filled with creature comforts and affirmations but with humility and commitment to love even as He was not loved. Related to this presence is the reality that often we don’t recognize that Jesus is with us...even though He says He is... and is. For those who take a moment to reflect, it doesn’t take much to realize that Jesus gave us words to say at the right time, gave the motivation to act in love at the right time and the strength to endure the incredible. We may not have noticed it at the time but when we take time to consider our past, we often see in obvious ways how God has been with us all the time.
Identity. The notion of identity is a mess in our world today. So much searching. So much despair. But in Christ, we have a powerful identity. Chosen race. Loved. Divinely designed with plan and purpose in place. We need only to stop looking within ourselves and look instead to Jesus for His Will and purpose. Look inside of each of us and we can quickly be reminded of our messes. Look to Jesus and we are reminded of His promises are carried along by Him.
The 285 folks who experienced TLSP’s Winter PD left with plenty to consider. But thanks be to God that the greatest things they left with were encouragement, prayers and a reminder that God is with us.