How do you teach your children the significance of Holy Week? How do you teach them what Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter mean? This week I want to make some suggestions of possible ways to accomplish this.
Think in terms of creating two things - events and traditions. Events are generally one-time things that will stick in the minds of our children for a long time and relate to the Easter message. To be effective the event has to be tied to the Easter message and be memorable. Either one without the other will not accomplish the purpose.
My wife likes to tell about a very memorable Easter when she was a young girl. The family came home from Easter morning services and went to change clothes for lunch. When they returned, they saw the lunch was composed of three kinds of ice cream and about a dozen toppings. They could each have as much as they wanted. While her parents were normally quite conservative and frugal, this was a one-time event. She will always remember it. Her mother explained that God's love was lavish just like this lunch. She said that God sending His only son to die for all our sins is as crazy and unexpected as eating ice cream and toppings for lunch. She'll always remember that connection.
A tradition on the other hand may not be remembered individually, but the consistency of doing it each year causes it to stick. Of course many people go to church on Easter, but I would hope that we do that each week. If not, that's a great place to start. What about reading the Easter Gospel account together with the family each Easter right after lunch? Or what if you as parents told what Easter means to you?
This is a good place to be creative. What is something that you can do each Easter consistently that will cause your children to understand Easter and to have a pleasant memory of it? Please give this some serious consideration and prayer. We are in danger of turning Easter into a secular holiday rather than a religious one. The real meaning of Easter is that God sent his son into our world to live the perfect life for us, to suffer for our sins, to die on our behalf, and then to rise again as we will too someday rise and go to heaven with him. That's the message we want our children to remember -- not the Easter Bunny or Easter eggs.
Blessings on your parenting,
Today we begin celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week. It's a time to recognize our heritage and association with other Lutheran schools across the country and throughout the world. Did you know that there are 1190 preschools, 842 elementary schools, and 85 Lutheran high schools internationally? Lutheran schools have operated continuously on this continent since before the United States of America existed as a country.
This is not something that started up as a result of busing in the 1970s as did many Christian schools. We have 10 Lutheran universities, each with a department of Lutheran teacher education. It is from those universities that most of our teachers graduate with a Lutheran Teacher Diploma. Teachers who have graduated from another university, go through a colloquy program that gives them an equivalent religious education. Because of this unique preparation our schools are different than public schools and unique among even Christian and private schools.
I attended a Lutheran School in Farrar, Missouri through 8th grade. I have personally taught in Lutheran Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska and Fort Worth, Texas. Our grandchildren attend a Lutheran School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We are blessed with this large and diverse group of like-minded schools who provide resources and support.
Thank you for sending your child to be part of this community, this family. I enjoy working at Epiphany and look forward to seeing each child arrive every morning. I hope you will come back next year and each year through eighth grade.
In His Service,
You may have read authors using the term "ancient future". While it's been used by several authors with slightly different connotations, I want to describe how I believe it affects us.
The ancient future is composed of a balance of two concepts - ancient and future. Balance is the key. The ancient represents timeless virtues and values. The future represents our understanding of how society is changing and technology's effects.
At Epiphany Lutheran School we value both of these concepts. We continue to emphasize the timeless values taught in the Bible. We teach old fashion manners and courtesy. We even continue to use some learning methods that are "tried and true". At the same time we value technology. Our students get a lot of time on the computer, and older students use it extensively in their studies. Still, we do not totally abandon the use of textbooks.
It is tempting (in society in general and schools in particular) when a new concept comes along to totally move in that direction. We believe it's important to understand new ideas but to remember and embrace the past as well. Again, balance is the key.
I am thankful for parents, who partner with us in teaching children advances in technology while embracing the values and virtues from the past.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal