Principal’s Pen: I’ve had it.

By now, you may have had it!

Soon after school begins, Christmas decorations appear in stores. Then, sales start. Finally, it —Christmas music with messages of family, good times, presents, and Santa—commences. Although many love the season, just as many find it overwhelming or depressing.

christmas_12425CIn a world that does not know the true reason for Christmas, Christians must continually remind themselves, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

By nature, we are not upright and godly. Sin so corrupts our nature that the psalmist’s words fit everyone perfectly: “All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (14:3). In short, we have no hope.

In his grace and mercy, God sent One to pay sin’s price. His Son became human, lived spotlessly, died innocently, and rose victoriously to pay humankind’s debt for sin. No human effort, man-made strategy, or mortal plan could accomplish our salvation. It is full and free divine grace to all who hold the Savior by faith.

The angel’s proclamation that first Christmas was “music” to the shepherds’ ears. Imagine their joy when the angels announced, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Their joy compelled them to find him. It led them to “[glorify and praise] God for all the things they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20). The shepherd’s jubilation may well be called the world’s first Christmas “song.”

Don’t despair. Soon, the Christmas decorations will be stored. The unsold merchandise will disappear. The sappy, commercialized music will end.

But, our joy and hope in the Savior will not. It lives because Jesus truly is “the Messiah, the Lord.” God bless your Christmas celebration!

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

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LLHS waits out semester by giving back

The month of December – – often called Advent, or “ coming”—brings more than one connotation at Lakeside Lutheran High School. As with the traditional Christian term that refers to a time of waiting for the Savior’s birth to come or arrive, the final month of a semester brings other sorts of anxious waiting for high school students, such as final grades and a welcome break from studies. Lakeside students filled the wait this year with several activities that held a spirit of gratefulness and giving back, including a bake sale, food drive, mission offerings and volunteering events.

bake-saleEvery last crumb was sold during a 2-day bake sale that raised $336.06 by the school’s Teens for Christ group December 6–7. Dozens of students brought in hundreds of pre-packaged home-baked goodies and sold them before school to other students and staff. Thrivent Financial added to that total through a $250 action team grant. Funds raised are supporting a VBS in Linares, Chile, in January, under the auspices of WELS Kingdom Workers; Lakeside teens bought school and other supplies and arranged for their transport to South America.

Dozens of sophomores in Pastor Clark Schultz’s religion classes have helped churches in the Madison area during December weekends. Teens volunteered at Good News Ev. Lutheran Church in Mt. Horeb and Resurrection Ev. Lutheran in Verona in their efforts to deliver goodies and invite the community to Christmas services. Other sophomores volunteered with “Christmas for Kids” weekends at Abiding Shepherd Ev. Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, where the church provided activities for community families.

SONY DSCOn December 13, dozens of National Honor Society members and Teens for Christ helped Mrs. Sandi Corlett, the LLHS Family and Consumer Education teacher, wrap “shoebox gifts” for homeless and families in need in Madison. This was part of a larger family effort for the Corlett family. All year long, the Corletts, including four adult children and their families, gather personal care items, school supplies, toys and clothing. Sandi Corlett and others donated items, boxes, gift wrap, labels, tape—enough for 325 shoeboxes this year.

Teens for Christ also organized an all-school food drive for the Lake Mills Food Pantry that brought in more than 400 non-perishable food donations for the community. The drive ended this week and donations will be delivered in the coming days.

Student Council organized an end-of-semester mission offering in chapel on Fridays that asked students and staff to help supply an Ethiopian village whose students need school supplies and equipment. A Lakeside council member visited the village during a mission trip last summer and was able to educate the student body to the need. The effort raised over $1,000.00.

SONY DSCDecember also brought the excitement of announcing a new summer of “Operation Go” mission trip teams. Thirty-two juniors and seniors were assigned to one of six trips across the country to assist congregations with outreach efforts, including WELS churches in Alaska, Texas, Idaho, Louisiana and New Jersey. These students will spend coming months volunteering and spreading the word about the opportunity before them in order to help fund the soccer camps and vacation Bible schools they will help organize and run next June through August.

Finally, even after semester exams are finished, students in the Lakeside Lutheran National Honor Society chapter plan to Christmas carol at nursing homes in Lake Mills and Watertown on December 23. That’s a service project that always ends up being a win-win as the singers enjoy their time as much as those listening do.

The entire staff and student body at Lakeside Lutheran High School wish all those in our communities a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Although this adage was used for years, it was popularized in the 1970s. In context, the speaker referred to government trying to fix things that were not broken, while ignoring things that needed fixing.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

As Christians, we may wonder at this time of year,
“If Christmas ain’t broke, then why does the world keep trying to fix it?”

The answer is that the world views Christmas very differently.

It sees Christmas as an occasion for lavish gift giving, disregarding God’s greatest gift— his Son, the world’s Savior. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

The world sees Christmas as family time, losing sight of God’s promise, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26).

The world sees Christmas as a party time, ignoring the true reason for celebration, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you” (Zechariah 9:9).
baby_14775cIn short, the world has lost Christmas’ true meaning: the celebration of God becoming man to perfectly fulfill the law and pay for mankind’s sins.

From the Christian perspective, Christmas works just fine!

God bless your Christmas celebration. May he also give you a joyous New Year.

Mr. Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran. Reach him at 920.648.2321 x2204 or jgrasby@llhs.org This post is the meditation from the December 2016 edition of the LLHS Federation Connection. Read the rest of the newsletter here.