I have been reading in 2 Kings and the Psalms lately. Am amazed once again as to how relevant the Word of God is to our lives today. Josiah is working to rebuild the Temple which was in said shape due ot the fact that Mannaseh was a king that chased after all the false gods and let the Temple fall apart. He led the people of Israel into a very bad place - which would finally lead to the destruction of Judah at the hand sof the Babylonians. If you forgot that, then you need to read it again. (And if you have never read it, then perhaps you should read on because that is where my thoughts are falling today.)
We don't know God's Word. There are exceptions. There are members of St. Paul's who know the Word better than I do (which may not be too hard as I find that the more I read the Bible the less I really know). But for the most part, I think that families are much like they were in the days of Josiah, they don't know what God's Word says to them. Why? Because they don't have much to do with Him and His Word.
Confirmation started up again. And as I am each year, I am amazed at how little some of the students know. We don't know the Bible. We don't know the basics of our faith. I feel kinda like Luther before he wrote the Small and Large Catechisms in 1529. He was appalled at how little people knew of their faith. I talked of the Law last night, and one of the students commented that she didn't know how she could have broken the Law because she didn't know what it was. When asked if she knew any of the commandments, she replied that she didn't.
Was I upset? Yes. Not with her. It wasn't her fault. It was the fault of her parents. They don't bring her to church and Sunday School. When she was baptized they said they would be certain to raise her in the faith, teaching it to her in her life - but they haven't. How many parents are there like that? How many families don't know what God's Word says? How many "despise preaching and His word"? (Hopefully you know where that comes from. If not, get out your catechism and look up the 3rd Commandment and its meaning.) But we don't despise the Word of God, we just don't have anything to do with it.
This generation of children are being robbed of their faith. And who is it that is robbing them of that faith? Their parents. That's right, their parents are robbing their children of the faith that they were given in the waters of their baptism. Their parents are not teaching them God's Word. They are not bringing them to worship. Why? Because they themselves don't see the importance of it. Why do we need the Word? We have a job. We have money. We have a house. We have a good life. Everything is going well for us. We don't need God and His Word to mess things up for us. So we just avoid it.
And in the process, we steal eternal life from our children. We wonder why our children get in trouble. We are amazed when they show a lack of respect. We are overwhelmed with how terrible the world has become. We wonder why the Church doesn't do more to help people. And then we avoid the Church. We avoid worship. We despise the Word of God by not wanting it to be a part of my life. (Have you ever looked at your Bible? Yes, when I moved it from one place to another. Have you opened it? No. Do you know that there are 66 books in the Bible? How can there be that many books in this one? Actual conversation with a student.)
I read in Psalm 102:12, "But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations." And I asked myself, "Really? Is that really the way it is?" Yes the Lord is enthroned forever. But is He remember throughout the generations. Has my generation taught our children the Word of God? Have we taught them the wonders of the Lord? Is the next generation teaching about the wonders of the Lord?
And you wonder why I support the Lutheran school? At least for the 11 years that we have children in our school (yes 11! Count them, 2 years of preschool, kindergarten and 8 years of numbered classes = 11) we have the opportunity to tell our children of teh wonders of the Lord. We have the chance to open their eyes to that which Satan would have us avoid tell them. We can help them to know and remember our Lord, His law, His Good News and the wonders of what it means to be a Child of God.
The next time you feel like complaining about the cost of Lutheran education, stop and think about the souls that would be lost to damnation if we did not have the doors of our school open. Think about how little our children and grandchildren would know of the Lord without it. Can families teach the same things at home? Of course.
But will they?