Thank a Teacher
Wednesday of Pentecost 18
26 September 2018
We can never compensate highly enough teachers and parents. These days teachers ought to get not only a regular salary, but also combat pay. Even though we honor and treasure education, we seldom sufficiently honor and esteem those who deliver it in our schools. Teachers are among the most poorly paid professions.
Yet it is clear that teachers do not choose the profession of teaching for the sake of lucrative compensation packages. They do so for the joy of their labor. We ought to esteem them all the more highly because of this. When I was a seminary student, I visited a church that was quite old and had a parish school. I met one of their retired teachers who was called by the congregation, not by his first name, but by his office as a sign of their respect for him. He was simply known as Teacher Krieger. He lived on that honor and respect. In some cases, he had taught three consecutive generations of that congregation's members. He had served in the place of parents (in loco parentis) for almost 50 years. He had served to parent the members of the congregation. It is no wonder they held them in such high honor. This is as it should be.
It is a strange circumstance that we who have so greatly benefited from the sacrifice of teachers and are ourselves successful in large measure because of what they taught us, so swiftly forget that sacrifice and fail to honor and support the calling of teacher. This is indicative of the ungratefulness of us humans.
The work of teachers is also indicative of the grace of God in the world. For even though we esteem them little and often forget them, they continue to bear the burden of educating our children and grandchildren without our proper thanks. So it is with God. He ever and always cares for us, even we who are ungrateful and most unworthy of His care. Teachers find themselves also in the place of Christ (in loco Christi) because of the extraordinary sacrifice of their service to the ungrateful, like us. Today, thank a teacher because of all the vast benefits that God has bestowed on you through their office.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"It is our duty before the world to be grateful for the benefits and every good that we have from our parents. But here again the devil rules in the world (Eph 6:12), so that the children forget their parents. We all forget God, and no one considers how God nourishes, protects, and defends us, and how He bestows so much good on body and soul (Ps 23). This is especially true when an evil time comes. We grow angry and grumble with impatience, and all the good that we have received throughout our life is wiped out of our memory (Ps 78:17-31). We act the same way toward our parents, and there is no child that understands and considers what his parents have endured while nourishing and fostering him, unless the Holy Spirit grants him this grace.
"God knows very well this perverseness of the world; therefore, He admonishes and urges by commandments that everyone consider what his parents have done for him. Each child will discover that he has from them a body and life. He has been fed and reared when otherwise he would have perished a hundred times in his own filth. Therefore, this is a true and good saying of old and wise people: 'To God, to parents, and to teachers we can never offer enough thanks and compensation.' The person who thinks about and considers this will give all honor to his parents without force and bear them up on his hands as those through whom God has done him all good (Ps 91:12)."

Martin Luther, Large Catechism,
1. 127-30
Psalm 34:11-22

Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Dear heavenly Father, You are the teacher of all for all knowledge comes ultimately from Your hand. Thank you for those who have committed their lives to teaching others that we may know of You through them. In thanks toward You, help us to support the teachers of our community. Amen.
For the faculty and staff of Memorial Lutheran School, that they would be reaffirmed in their office as teachers in the place of parents and that we who have benefited from the sacrifice of teachers might give thanks to the Lord
For the gift of law and order which is so necessary to the quiet and peaceable life, that all peace officers might be upheld in every good work and kept safe in their profession
For the success of cleanup and recovery efforts in the Carolinas, that we might properly honor God for the gifts of daily life: food, water, and housing
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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