That is the inside joke about the 2017-2018 school year. And it has nothing to do with catchy tunes, baggy pants, or dance moves.
It does have to do with a lowly German monk nailing (Get it? Nailing? Hammer time?) some questions and concerns to the door of the church in Wittenberg. I guess the bulletin board was full.
It happened in 1517. Yes, that was five hundred years ago. Kind of a big anniversary.
What those questions started changed the face of the Christian faith and Western civilization. And it still changes things for people seeking the truth about God, about the work of His Son Jesus Christ, and about the Holy Spirit. It still changes things for those simply seeking a way to be right with God while they are fully aware of their personal shortcomings.
And, for us here at St. Paul Lutheran School, it gives us a reason to believe that learning about grace and faith, knowing and applying God’s Word, and practicing a life of servant leadership is central to a complete and holistic education.
Martin Luther, that humbly robed priest, sought answers to questions about his relationship with God and found them in the Bible (What are the odds?). The answer was simple. God loved him. God knew he could not live a sinless life or even come close. God sent His Son to earth to take the punishment for Martin’s sin. And Martin received that gift of forgiveness as a free gift that he could not earn. Check out Ephesians 2:8-9 to see one of the places he found this awesome good news. Good news we at SPLS share every day with our students.
But he did more than that. He put the Bible into people’s hands and believed the everyday common person could read, understand, and apply its teachings. We continue to give children opportunities to learn directly from hearing and reading the Bible.
He believed in the priesthood of all believers. He taught that all people do God’s work when that work blesses others. It not only elevated all work, from the most menial to the most scholarly, but it also placed a high value on doing everything to the best of one’s ability. This is still true at SPLS.
This priesthood also reminded people that talking to their father in heaven did not require an intermediary. At SPLS we help children to speak directly and regularly to their loving father.
He reminded people that God calls on those who believe to directly and openly profess their faith to others. SPLS students get to practice telling others of the great blessings of faith in Jesus Christ. Our theme verse, Romans 10:10, reflects this belief. “ For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses.”
Confessing our faith in words, and writing, and actions is our version of what Martin Luther did when he swung that hammer and professed what he believed.
In His Children’s Service, Robert C. Boyd