“He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-6)
Larry Bird was an excellent basketball player and overcame many obstacles prior to making it to the National Basketball Association. He wrote about some of those obstacles in his book entitled, Drive. Reggie Jackson was not just a good baseball player. He was nicknamed, “Mr. October” because of his ability to perform exceptionally well in several World Series. Jerry West was tagged with the phrase, “Mr. Clutch” as he was relied on to come through in difficult situations. Wayne Gretskey was known as the “Great One” because he played on a hockey team that won five championships in seven years.
All of the players mentioned above are remembered for what they have accomplished. That is fine. Using their God-given gifts and talents to achieve at the highest level of their sport is admirable. One must ask though, “Was their self-efficacy rooted in their accomplishment, or even in their profession?”
For Lutheran teachers and administrators, your efficacy is not rooted in what you do in the classroom, or how you lead. No! Your worth and desire is rooted directly back to the Cross of Jesus Christ. And Christian teachers and administrators readily strive to be the best, giving one hundred percent daily back to their Lord with grateful and thankful hearts.
As Christians first, we are rooted in the heavenly Father who called us. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy” (Titus 3:5a). We are rooted in the Lord whose servants we are. We know who we belong to and who has redeemed us – Jesus, our Risen Lord and Savior!
Teachers and administrators in one of the many Lutheran high, elementary and early childhood centers take comfort knowing they are children of God and leaders in His Kingdom. Enjoying the partnership that began at our Baptisms and further galvanized by Jesus’ suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension enables us to seek forgiveness and give forgiveness. Knowing and believing that the Holy Spirit keeps us and our students in the one, true faith brings peace and hope not only in our daily teaching and learning but in every aspect of our lives.
What a privilege and honor it is to be in ministry with each of you. Go and serve a great God. Give thanks and praise to a Father who has bestowed upon us the blessings of His grace, mercy and love.
It is my continual prayer for all of you that you serve out your Calling with joy and zest.
Have a blessed 2018!
Dr. Jon Mielke