When I was in fifth grade, it was decided that instead of attending the public middle school, I would attend the local Lutheran School. That one small decision impacted my life greatly. Now I am a Lutheran School teacher, married to a Lutheran School teacher, raising my kids in the Lutheran faith and sending them to a Lutheran School. I guess you could say I bought in.It was also decided that if I was going to to go to a Lutheran School, our family should probably start going to church. I had attended a Christian preschool and visited the Catholic church for the First Communion of my cousins, but we had never really attended church as a family. That summer before I started 6th grade, my sister, my mom, and I were baptized. My parents became members. We became ‘church people’.
That one small decision my parents made regarding middle school continued to make a large impact on my life. When it was time for me to attend college, I was encouraged by the teachers from my Lutheran School to look at Concordia University. Since I was looking into education programs already, their guidance to become a Lutheran School Teacher made sense. Those same teachers that taught me then became my colleagues. They became friends and encouragers. I am now a member of a community that stretches across the country and around the world. When Lutherans meet other Lutherans, they love to play the ‘which Lutherans do you know’ game. Chances are they find at least one in common. Teachers they’ve had, people they went to school with, pastors they’ve met, churches they’ve visited, all part of one great, big, Lutheran community. It’s pretty easy to catch the Lutheran Spirit. It sweeps you up. This community of believers is not just fun to socialize with (we are a good time, I promise) but can also become the biggest encouragement. This is a group of people who are often willing to lend a hand, an ear, and certainly a prayer. One does not have to dig far to find stories of hope and encouragement given to one another. Several are mentioned in other articles on this very page (Generosity, Mercy, Blessed). We do these things for each other through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sends us out with the love of Christ, to show Christ’s love to others. It’s hard NOT to Catch the Lutheran Spirit.