Lutheran Schools Partnership Director Mark Muehl spoke at a school-wide chapel at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne on Monday, January 28, marking National Lutheran Schools Week.
Mark invoked this year's theme for the week-long celebration of Lutheran education, "Baptized for This Moment," and spoke of the Christian concept of the Communion of Saints.Excerpts from Mark's talk:"You attend a school within one of the largest parochial school systems in the world, with more than 1,300 early-childhood centers and preschools serving 122,000 children, ranging in age from infants to five-year-olds. "Additionally, Lutheran congregations operate 879 elementary schools serving 91,000 students. There are also 88 domestic and international Lutheran high schools, three of them in Indiana. There are also three international Lutheran High Schools. "So there are around 230,000 kids and young adults in Lutheran education throughout the world."You might ask, 'So what?' We talk about Lutheran schools, their numbers, their global reach. So what? I'll tell you. We're all connected. We join with the rest of our brothers and sisters in Christ around that which unites us—His gifts. Specifically, we join in celebrating the gift God gives us in Baptism." "The Apostle's Creed that we recited together is not just a statement of faith—it's a creed that connects us to Baptism. In the creed, we say to each other that this is our God and that He created us, redeemed us, and keeps us in faith. And we say it to publicly link ourselves with the saints before us." "The Communion of Saints—past, present and future—is all about Christ. It's all about His unconditional love for a fallen world, His commitment and lavishness for each of us, as demonstrated by His outstretched arms on the cross. Be it the examples from the Bible, or those in our world today, or even the promises of the future, it's about Christ and what He has done for all of us, and how He will continue to keep his promises." "Our prayer today is to thank God for our Baptism and the rich gifts it provides, to thank God for this Communion of Saints, and to thank God for His lavishness—so that we can boldly go on to invite others to share in this love."