God bless our students!
by: Rev. Joel Willitz
A few weeks ago we made the long 800-mile trek to take our daughter to Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota, where she is beginning to pursue a degree in elementary education, as she hopes to one day serve as a Lutheran grade school teacher. Of course we had to drive the big old blue van as she, like most daughters, had more items than could ever fit in any regular car.
Our worst traffic troubles were that we lost a hubcap on the way there, and spent two hours in a traffic jam northeast of Chicago on the way home. Of far greater importance was the precious time spent with our daughter at a crucial time in her life.
This was the sixth such adventure as our seven children grow up, the seventh yet to come in a couple years. With each one it doesn't get easier. Each journey has been different, yet each in many ways has been the same.
As we finally arrive and go to the bank to set up their accounts, there is trepidation. As we help move them into their dorm room, mom, of course, always has to make the bed. As we get ready to leave, there are hugs, and there are tears, and then we make the long drive home.
Lord, thank you for making our children your own through holy baptism. Thank you for confirming them in the truth, and keeping them through your holy word and the sacrament of your body and blood. Thank you for guarding and protecting them, and giving them the ability to grow, and learn, and serve you.
The fear and love of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom for our children, as it is for all of us. "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." [Psalm 127:1]
It is a bittersweet challenge for all of us parents to send our little children off to pre-school; to kindergarten; later, to high school; and then college. Let us always remember along the way that which is far more important, that we teach them God's word at every step.
May the Lord bless our children in their schooling and education. May he bless them even more in their Sunday school, their worship of him with God's people on Sunday morning, and their Bible readings with their family at home.
Lord, continue to keep our children close to you. Guard and protect them from harm. Preserve them in your word. Bless them as they grow and learn, and grant them your grace to serve you more and more their whole life through, as you guide them safely, and finally take them to your eternal heavenly home.