Tag Archives: Life

Bringing life

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you…You show me the path of life”

Psalm 16: 1,2,11

Hasn’t our weather been up and down of late? One day we encourage the students to put sunscreen on and the next we are sheltering inside classrooms to escape pelting rain. One of the things I enjoyed about living in Egypt was that for most of the year it was hot every day; the same temperature for weeks at a time. It was easy to manage because my body was used to it. I knew what to expect.

This time of year the school starts focusing more and more on next year. New students, new staff, new families, new programs. What should we expect? We also start thinking about the ‘old’ – our ‘old’ Grade 6 students will soon become ‘new’ Grade 7 students at their secondary school of choice. I suspect they too are wondering a great deal about what to expect.

None of us who have lived a few years have escaped the ups and downs of life, the good and bad times, the joys and the sorrows. The birth of children, and the death of family or friends. Finding jobs and losing jobs. Achieving many things but failing at some things too. Despite what some may have us think, no one this side of heaven knows what to expect on any given day.

I have often found that the times when I believe I have the clearest picture of how things will unfold are the times when I receive the greatest surprises. I often wish I could see the world with the wisdom of God and know what is to come. While we don’t know exactly what to do each day, we rest in the refuge of God who sees the grand things occurring both now and in the future. His plan for us is to follow his path of life as best as we can every day.

When discussing decision-making with a Jesuit Priest, he told me, “Making a decision is simple. You must ask yourself “Will this bring life to my God and my brothers and sisters? If yes, then proceed.” This is the constant question we must ask ourselves and encourage our young people to ask also – “Will this act bring life?”

God indeed shows us the path of life but we must be humble, listen carefully and take our refuge in his life-giving love. This is the path that we must walk.

May the path of life be clear to us all.

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175 Years of Lutheran Education

Yesterday we planted a tree at Sunshine to celebrate 175 years of Lutheran Education in Australia. We gathered to give thanks not just for the work of Lutheran educators and schools but also for all those involved in Christian education in its varying forms. Christian education is a vital ministry of the global church.

I would like to thank the staff of Sunshine for another busy and exciting term of learning. We thank too, the parents who have volunteered this term in order to make our community a vibrant and rich one.
All Lutheran schools across the country gathered at some stage this semester to plant a tree. I can see from the reports that have come into my inbox that the choices have been varied. Our choice of a miniature citrus seems to be unique though.

“Trees in their diversity, majesty, resilience and strength capture our hearts and give us great pleasure. They give hospitality, freedom, security and treasures; they bind us to the rhythms of the earth and orient us towards the great expanse of the universe. Most people like to immerse themselves in natural or people designed, tree laden environments: to walk among, to observe, to feel, to listen, to connect, to come close to and walk with the Creator God. Poets and artists, musicians and story-tellers through the ages have been and continue to be inspired by these stalwarts of nature, these lungs of planet earth.

For German Lutherans who arrived in Australia in the 1800s, trees were very functional, giving them the materials they needed for homes, schools and churches, and giving them fuel needed for warmth, cooking and the manufacture of goods. They would certainly have noticed a difference in the species of trees from their homeland to their newly adopted land. Their faith was important, and the cross was central.

The Tree of Life is the theme for this significant year of celebration for Lutheran schools. ‘In the magnificent natural sign of the tree, God showed us from the beginning the sign of the cross. He planted the image in the Garden of Eden; he suspended it over the earth at the crucifixion; he established the tree eternally in the orchards of the new earth, watered by the river flowing from his throne.” (Adapted from LEA materials)

May we always be aware of the Tree of Life that provides strength for our lives. It is through God’s power and provision that we have the blessings of Christian schooling.

Photo: Zelenak

Photo: Zelenak

 

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