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September 2016 Newsletter Article

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.

Proverbs 4:1-6

As parents you might be feeling a sense of giddy relief now that your children are back in school, or you might be feeling a little melancholy as your child heads off to college, but you may not realize that God calls us to the task of education and learning. Now I’m not just talking about the study of God’s Word (though that is definitely implied). No! All learning comes from God! But why has God called us to study? Well that’s an easy one to answer, God wants us to study so that we might grow in knowledge and wisdom and He wants us to grow in knowledge and wisdom for our own benefit.

It is easy for us to put God in a box; to hide Him away from most of our lives and just let Him out on Sundays and maybe holidays. As if God only cares about what you do in relation to Him and not anything else. Or maybe you think God wants you only to care about His stuff and anything else is a distraction. As if you should be unconcerned with your life day to day and even feel guilt or shame for caring about this life. But that’s not what God wants for you at all. God created you and gave you this life, not simply as a thing to go through on your way to everlasting life, but to be experienced and enjoyed now and throughout you mortal span. God wants you to live each day to its fullest! That’s why He gives you each and every day. And in order to live each day to its fullest, we must know all we can about the world and the life He gives us in it, as well as knowing all we can about Him who gives us each and every day. But that learning should not come to an end with the completion of high school, college, or grad school. God’s calling to learn does not come with an end date. God wants us to spend our lives learning and growing in wisdom: learning about Him, about ourselves, about our neighbor, and about God’s creation. The more we learn, the more we grow in wisdom and insight, and the more we get out of each day He gives us.

This fall, I will be teaching two classes that I’d like to encourage you to attend. On Tuesday evenings at Trinity, I’ll be teaching Lutheranism 101. This is a class for those who would like to revisit the things you may not have thought much about since you were confirmed, or for those who would like to better understand just what it means to be a Lutheran Christian. On Wednesday evenings at Badger, I’ll be teaching an in-depth Bible study on the Gospel of Mark. If you have only ever studied the Bible in little bits, without seeing each part in relation to the whole book, then this class may be just what you’re looking for. I hope to see you in one of these classes this fall. But even if you choose not to attend one of these classes, I hope you will commit to learning and growing in some way this fall. You’ll be amazed how God will bless you as you follow His call to learn. It’s time to go back to school, for all of us.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.

Proverbs 4:7-12

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