Monona Ev. Lutheran Church  4411 Monona Dr., Madison, WI 53716

 

                              Welcome to Monona!                            Wishing everyone a wonderful Summer - 2019

 

+ EducationLife Itself +

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

It’s closing in on late summer and thoughts have begun to turn to the last outing for vacation, clothes for the upcoming school year, and after school activities resuming. It will soon be time to “get backs to the books” in preparation for life.

But the truth of the matter is “education is not preparation for life; education is life itself” as John Dewey reminds us.

 

As Christians, we should not see our days in school as a preparation for something else, whether that be a job, college, or life. Rather, while we are in school it is a gift, a vocation, in order to learn of God’s gifts, and how we can develop them and make the best use of them.

 

In all of our school studies, from the puzzles and pictures of pre-school to the more advanced problems of math and the poetic pictures of upper grades, Christians do not merely prepare for life, we are living the life now that God has given us.

 

Yet, our results-based culture and hunger for consumer goods have molded us into a dull lump. I can hear my own days in the classroom with the students shouting out, “Do we have to know this for the test? When will I ever use this? This course is useless. I’ll never use it!”

 

So it is that education is beaten down into the small, small world that we each think is so big:

“Me.”

 

What begins our school days does not end until life itself ends. Truly, through all our days we are learning about the life we live. Why study the ancient Greeks, history or any other discipline? Who they were is a direct result of who we are today. Why learn Newton’s Laws or the periodic table in chemistry? Why study the classics or the poetry of Shakespeare or English grammar? It’s the life we live. It is who God has made us to be as His people.

 

The same voice has left Christian education beaten down as well. It has reduced the faith to no more than intellectual knowledge rather than thankfully receiving the gifts of God for life and salvation. These are the cries that say everything else in the church is entertainment, self- enhancement, or optional depending upon one’s particular leanings.

 

Christian education is not preparing for faith, it is living it. It’s not simply the growth of knowledge, although faith does die for lack of it. It’s not simply memorization of doctrine for memory sake, although faith is lacking without doctrine. It’s not the enduring of classes, whether that be Sunday school, Midweek Bible class, confirmation or any other class, although faith disappears without endurance. Christian education is not a preparation for faith, it is living the faith. It is always living, or else it is not education!

 

The best encouragement you can give when soon you hear the whining, “Why do I need to learn this stuff, or why do I have to go to church? Or any other similar complaints is what Martin Luther used to say, “Tell the whiner to pinch himself and see if he is still alive. Only death rings the final school bell.”

And even then, for us in Christ, we will learn that our education and life itself truly has begun! So, “keep-on living”—that is keep-on learning, worshipping, listening, asking, studying and remember to always pray.

 

Working the harvest with you!

Pastor Nowak 

 

Thanks for Visiting

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To all who are weary and need rest,

To all who are lonely and need sheltering love,

To all who sin and need a Savior, and

To whomever will come, our church opens its doors in the name of Jesus Christ.

Member congregation of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod