Principal’s Pen: A model for thanksgiving

He is mentioned in only one chapter of the Bible. Even then, he is overshadowed by the Christchild.

Luke reports, “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah” [Luke 2:25-26].

Simeon is described as “righteous and devout.” As such, he knew Scripture. He knew God’s anointed would be David’s descendent [2 Samuel 7], yet even greater than David [Psalm 110]. He knew the Chosen One would born of a virgin [Isaiah 7:14] in Bethlehem [Micah 5:2]. He knew a forerunner would precede God’s Promised One [Isaiah 40] and that the Savior himself would be a prophet like Moses [Deuteronomy 18]. He knew the Messiah would be forsaken and pierced [Psalm 22] and then rise from death [Psalm 16].

Simeon knew all this about his Savior.

nunc-dimittusImagine Simeon’s joy as he held Jesus and exclaimed, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation” [Luke 2:29-30]. His joy was complete. He offered thanks to God that the
age-old promise of a Savior was fulfilled.

Simeon’s thanksgiving to God can also be our model for thanksgiving. He waited his entire life for the fulfillment of the promise of a Savior from sin. We share that same faith—only we don’t wait and wonder when it will happen. It has! God sent his Son to be our Savior so that all believers may have joy and thanksgiving.

At Thanksgiving, we tend to focus on God’s physical blessings. That’s good because God richly blesses us. Yet, we should also include his spiritual blessings in our Thanksgiving because they will last forever.

Like Simeon, may God “dismiss [us] in peace” knowing that his greatest blessing—a Savior—is ours every day by faith.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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

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Principal’s Pen: What are you giving thanks for?

Thanks be to God!The fourth Thursday in November is America’s national day of Thanksgiving. To many, it is the kickoff to Christmas shopping. To others, it is family and feasting. Many look forward to parades and football.

Although America’s Thanksgiving does not have distinctly religious roots, Christians can only see the possibilities.

The lesson of the Ten Lepers is often read on Thanksgiving. In it, we find earthly and heavenly meanings. It provides reasons to thank God.

First, like the lepers were without hope, we can only admit our lost state due to sin. Theirs was an incurable physical disease. We face eternal death. We are born with sin, we live in it, and – without God’s intervention – we will forever die in it. Just as the lepers thanked Jesus for physical healing, you and I can thank God for spiritual healing through his Son.

Secondly, Jesus’ healing brought the lepers physical blessings: extension of their lives and the right to return home. Every day, God blesses us physically with “clothing, shoes, food, drink, house, [and] home.” The depth of our blessings is far beyond what we need and can use. We can thank God for these physical blessings.

Most importantly, our greatest blessing is identified through the returning leper’s words and actions. He knew and believed that the one who physically healed him was the One who also brought him spiritual healing. The evangelist notes that this leper—a Samaritan—“came back, praising God…[and] threw himself at Jesus’ feet” (Luke 17:16). Why? That is found in Jesus’ words, “Your faith has made you well” (v. 17). This man’s physical healing was an act of Jesus’ mercy. His spiritual healing—and ours—is God’s gift through faith in Jesus.

Being thankful is always appropriate. The Bible commands, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

As Christians, let us always thank God for our salvation through Jesus.
God bless your Thanksgiving!

Mr. Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran. Reach him at 920.648.2321 x2204 or jgrasby@llhs.org

School-wide Food Drive on ’til Thanksgiving

​In the spirit of Thanksgiving, LLHS Teens for Christ is sponsoring a school-wide food drive for a local food pantry. Each class is asked for certain food items, although any donations are encouraged. Check posters around school and in the cafeteria to see what food is requested or see poster below. Collection boxes are located in the cafeteria. Bring food anytime between now and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break.

Bring items to boxes LLHS cafeteria by Wednesday, November 25, 2015.
Bring items to boxes LLHS cafeteria by Wednesday, November 25, 2015.