This is the first of five morning devotions for National Lutheran Schools Week from Jan. 26-30, 2015.
One of the many great things that Lutheran schools do is to help students learn about things they do not understand. Math teachers can show you how “A” multiplied by “B” can equal “C;” Science teachers can explain why a boy can have blonde hair while his sister’s hair is black; and English teachers know how to correctly tell you, “They’re putting their things there.” But while learning about our world is important, learning about our God is truly the greatest thing Lutheran schools help our students to do.
The theme for National Lutheran Schools Week in 2015 is Mercy Forever, two words that can also be tough for students to understand. By definition, neither word is too complex. Mercy means “not getting what you deserve,” and forever means “for all-time, always.” Where these words become difficult is when you try to apply them in life.
As a sinful people, we aren’t naturally led to show mercy. We would much rather get even or seek revenge when someone treats us poorly. We also live in a world that is governed by time, which makes the notion that anything could last forever mind-blowing. Bring those two together and you create something impossible outside of the power of God.
The Bible makes it clear that God is eternal. Psalm 102:12 declares, “But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; You are remembered throughout all generations” (ESV). It also speaks to the great mercy God showed His people by sending His Son Jesus to save us from our sins in Ephesians 2:4-5. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (ESV).
So, as we kick off this week of celebrating the gift of Lutheran Schools, may we remember to give thanks to our great God. Let’s show mercy to one another in the classroom, on the playground, in the lunchroom, and everywhere we go, just as God has shown it to us. After all, it is by His mercy we have life in Him, both now and forever.
Prayer: Eternal, merciful Father, we thank and praise you for giving us the gift of Lutheran schools, where we can learn more about you and the world you created. Help us to show mercy to others just as you did toward us, now and forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.