What Makes Lutheran Education Different?

Did you know our pastor’s have the opportunity to lead chapel services at Lutheran High Westland as well as some of the Lutheran elementary schools in the area? Most recently Pastor Eden was invited to LHWL to do one such chapel service. After the service an administrator thanked him for his message and admitted that it was helpful to have another clear way to express what makes Lutheran High education special. The administrator asked Pastor Eden to write an article that could be shared with the greater community. Here is the article that Pastor Eden wrote.
This blog was re-posted with permission from the author. Read the original post and listen to an excerpt from the newly formed Praise Band that led worship for the first time at Lutheran High during this chapel service! 

Lutheran Westland is One in Christ Jesus

By Rev. Joel S. Eden, Associate Pastor
At one time or another, we have all probably thought that our school is different from the rest for all the wrong reasons. Which of these sounds familiar to you?

“I send my child to Lutheran Westland (LHWL) because everyone there is a loving Christian who is dedicated to following Jesus with every step they take.”
“I’m thankful I can send my child to LHWL, because there’s less drugs and alcohol there.”
“I’m so glad my child can attend a school that doesn’t have all those problems like vaping and teenage sex.”

How many of these have you said?
How many of these have you wished were true?
So if it’s not these things, what is it that makes Lutheran Westland (and hopefully any Lutheran/Christian school) different from the rest?

In reality, we know that we struggle loving each other at times at LHWL. In reality, we know there’s vaping, alcohol, sex, and drugs at LHWL. The difference, though, is right in front of our face and yet so easily overlooked. The difference is the cross of Jesus Christ! The difference is how we deal with and treat each other in the midst of everything else.

Paul addresses this in a profound way in two separate letters he wrote to the churches in Galatia and Colossae. In Galatians 3:26-28, he says “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (ESV).

Today at LHWL, we might say, “There is no black, brown, or white, for we are all one in Christ Jesus” or “There is no freshmen, sophomore, junior, or senior, for we all are one in Christ Jesus” or even “There is no administrator, teacher, parent, or student; athlete or musician; rich or poor; popular or outcast; for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” That would be pretty profound; wouldn’t it? But saying it and acting on it are two different things.

The other time Paul says this is in Colossians 3:11-14: “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (ESV).

Like I asked the students in chapel, “Guys, do you treat the ladies like fellow members of the body of Christ? Ladies, do you treat the guys like fellow members of the body of Christ? Seniors, are you helping the freshmen like fellow members of the body of Christ? Are we forgiving one another?”

Jesus’ love binds us together and makes us one. Jesus showed perfect kindness, humility, patience, and forgiveness through his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. Our school will probably continue to have issues with vaping, alcohol, sex, drugs, and much more—though we will always pray against such things—but what makes LHWL different is the cross of Jesus Christ. As beloved children of God, we are one in Christ Jesus. We strive to produce kindness, humility, patience, and forgiveness through the work of the Holy Spirit. We repent and reconcile with each other and call on God to heal and lead.

That’s what makes life with Jesus different.
That’s what makes LHWL different.
LHWL is one in Christ Jesus! Thank God for that!