History and PerspectiveIt’s very easy for 21st century man to be quite enamored with himself. There’s much to be proud of. The present can also misdirect us from teaching history- documented, accepted history. The reality is that history keeps us from being self-centered and self-absorbed. Psalm 77:8-14 says,“Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” SelahThen I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. SelahNote how the writer Asaph changes focus from his troubles to God’s track record. And note how the result of this change in perspective brings Selah (praise). When our eyes get off ourselves and onto all that God has done, is doing and will do our focus, our self-centered, gloomy perspective turns to one of praise for the God of all grace.
And so we turn to our schools. From a humble beginning of 12 churches and 19 schools, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has grown to 1,127 Early Childhood Centers, 778 elementary schools, and 87 high schools (2018-19 data). The LCMS also operates ten universities and two seminaries. These schools educate more than 280,000 students and are taught by almost 22,000 teachers. Lutheran schools operated by the LCMS also exist in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Vietnam. (info from Wikipedia). Our present history is grounded on a nearly 180 year history in northeast Indiana. With 3950 K-12 students and 19 schools, God has blessed this region with faithfulness and perspective.It’s good to embrace and cherish our history. But even more, knowledge and appreciation for history binds us to the saints who have gone before us, who were faithful and who experienced God’s faithfulness.We too experience God’s faithfulness but we also can know with certainty, because of history, that God’s faithfulness will continue. Christmas turns us to a historical fact. God is Emmanuel- God with us- born in Bethlehem, at the time of Roman rule, at the time of a census, at the time that God chose...and that history proves.You won’t get his perspective in a public school; they can’t do it. Lutheran schools provide the reality of the transition of BC to AD. It’s all about Christ. It’s all about God’s dramatic, but humble, insertion into time and place.Our God is Emmanuel; our God is with us.Happy New Year from TLSP.