Ah, middle school. Do you remember that time in your life, or have you blocked it out? Many years later, I can finally look back on the awkwardness of those years with laughter. I also remember some of the difficult experiences that characterized that time in my life, see how much growth and development occurred, and recognize how it shaped me as a person today.
Middle school is a period that can be characterized as full of change. The adjustments physically, socially, and emotionally can be overwhelming at times. So much seems out of the control of a middle schooler, just as they desire to take on more control in their own lives. The addition of social media to the mix certainly has not made this an easier time in the lives of our young people.
Where do I fit? Where do I belong? Who am I? Questions that adolescents are asking themselves seem to have endless answers in these days of information overload. However, as Christians, it is our desire for young people to see themselves through the eyes of Christ. They are forgiven, loved, precious children of God. Our identity is in Christ! How do we point them to these messages?
Our Lutheran schools provide a place where young people get to hear these messages of Christian identity. Our prayer for them is the same one Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 3, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” This is a critical message for middle schoolers to hear, and we are blessed they can hear it in their Lutheran schools!