Oh, how we love the novel, the unique, the extraordinary! Be it a culinary creation, an inspiring concert, or an incomparable event, we get excited about the exceptional. How counter-culture Christmas is. A lowly manger, a deep, dark night, and the birth of a baby. Yawn, not much to get overly excited about there. But that's our God. He takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary, with His Word. At the beginning of the world, ordinary clay had God's extraordinary breath bring it to life. At Christmas, we witness a manger birth, with its announcement through the sung words of an extraordinary throng of angels. His message comes with ordinary words, but those Words have extraordinary impact. Today, water becomes a life-giving gift, bread and wine give us a taste of an eternal banquet, and spoken words become the medicine of forgiveness. Ordinary being extraordinary is a big part of Lutheran schools. Ordinary men and women share with children an extraordinary story of an extraordinary God. Ordinary kids display ordinary talents in praise of a God who has done extraordinary things for them. Ordinary efforts to learn to read are made extraordinary when what is read is God's written words. This letter asks for something ordinary, so that the extraordinary can be supported and strengthened. Every non-for-profit worth its salt makes end-of-the-year pleas for financial support. You are told of the year's extraordinary efforts and how your gifts will help support these ongoing programs. You're asked to consider a gift that will help others. After all, isn't that what Christmas is all about? It's a season of giving, right? I hope you find this letter somewhat ... extraordinary. This letter isn't a plea for financial support for our organization (The Lutheran Schools Partnership). Our mission does not seek financial support for TLSP. Rather, we strive to "serve The Lutheran Schools and to glorify Jesus Christ with vital services that promote enrollment growth, secure third-source funding, achieve academic excellence, and develop teachers and administrators." Here's our request: please consider supporting your Lutheran school and church through a special end-of-the-year gift. Be it a gift to your school's SGO efforts (which DO include some extraordinary perks), support of the school's endowment (and its matching opportunity from The Lutheran Foundation), or a gift that is undesignated (always received with enthusiasm!), your ordinary gift can help support the extraordinary work of enabling kids to learn more about their Savior. Praise God for the gift of His Son. Praise God for the generosity he so lavishly grants us! And praise God for your gift.