LEAven Blog


A Few Months Ago…

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about my 92 year old Mom who was recovering from a broken hip. Mom passed away suddenly back in November. In the midst of the sadness of our loss is the shining hope of the resurrection in our risen Lord Jesus. 

I could take a number of directions with this; but since this is a blog about and for Lutheran educators, I am going to approach things from that angle, with a very simple reminder. One of the greatest blessings we receive in time of loss is the love, support, and witness of Christian people around us. In our day to day work it can become easy to categorize people; she’s a parent of a student; he’s somebody’s step-dad who doesn’t go to church; they just moved here two years ago; she’s a teacher in that other department or grade level…you get the idea. Sometimes, even we the “professionals”, find ourselves in the midst of our own family trouble or tragedy receiving the love of God from the hands of the same people whom we fit with categorical names. However, in difficult days, those categories fade into the background, and we see ourselves and others not in calculated ways, but simply as fellow human beings; fellow Christians, who share each other’s burdens.

I really cannot tell you how many times in the past couple of months I have received such care from people around me at my own church (Grace Chapel Lutheran Church and School, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Mo.) and my Mom’s church (St. John Lutheran Church and School, Ocala, Fla., which also happens to be the home congregation of my youth). I have watched with great encouragement as God’s people in His congregations have sprung into action in showing care and love in difficult days.

My simple point today is that I want to exhort all of us as Lutheran educators to continually be ever sensitive to the wide range of needs of those around us; especially needs of encouragement and support in life’s difficulties. We all have duties and job descriptions to fulfill. We also have standard ways of accomplishing those things. However, let us also have our “radar” tuned to pick up the signals of those who hurt and are in need, so that we may, along with teaching them also love and support them. Most especially, we are always ready to share the life-giving, comfort rendering Gospel of our Lord Jesus. As Peter reminds us in his first epistle, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” That which we give, we will all someday need to receive. Thanks be to God who sends all of His people out to love and care for one another! Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love!      

Rev. John Greene grew up in north central Florida. He has earned a B.A. from Concordia University-Texas, an MDiv. from Concordia Seminary - St. Louis, MO, and a M.A.T. from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. He has one son, Adam, who is presently in Optometry School. John and his wife Nancy (Adams) live in St. Louis. John’s interests, along with ministry and education, include music, coaching athletics, and shortwave radio listening.

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