This last week of school strongly resembles the first week of school. This morning we gathered together in the sanctuary as we did the first week of school, indeed, as we have done throughout the school year.
There we sang a hymn, spoke together the Ten Commandments, heard of Jesus Christ the fulfiller of the Law, and we prayed. It was simple and predictably redundant. There were no surprises, no novelty. This is our habit.
The habit of daily prayer and meditation on the Word of God is not everyone’s habit. Many would never measure the “value” of a school or of an education based upon its habit of prayer. I do… and I hope you do too! It is a treasure as great as heaven itself! Some might permit this habit as optional. After all, what study has ever proven that daily prayer improves student achievement? As if student achievement were the most important thing? Many, indeed most, attend schools where the school never gathers in the Name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Most schools even forbid it.
When our children go away to a college or university that does not have this habit, the habit of prayer continues if it has become their own habit. I thank God that Faith Lutheran School offers a child fifteen years (PS-3 through grade 12) to practice and learn and make this habit his own. When my own children have gone away to college, I make it a point to go to church with them as a matter of first importance. The habit of skipping church is an easy one to form even if you have gone every Sunday for years – that speaks to the strength of our sinful inclination doesn’t it?
Summertime provides an opportunity to practice habits too. Will you pray together this summer? Will you hear the Word of God this summer? Will you go out of your way to make hearing God’s Word a priority while Faith Lutheran School is not in session? Will you pray together while on vacation or at a family wedding? From personal experience, I have found it takes planning and preparation to make it happen. What will your summer habit regarding the Word of God teach your children? Doesn’t omitting prayer and skipping church also teach something?
The truth is, while I’m ready for a little break during the Summer I’m going to miss your children. I love to hear them sing hymns. I love to pray with them. I love to talk with them about Jesus Christ our Savior. Come August 14, I’ll be more than ready to resume our habit. And during this summer, I’ll be praying that the Word of Christ dwells richly in your homes and in your habits.