“Why Won’t They Let ME Be Baptized?”3 min read

It was the spring of 2014. It was time for a change, and this time it involved changing schools. James would be entering 3rd grade in the fall and would be the only new student in the classroom of 3rd & 4th graders at Trinity Lutheran School in Reed City, Mich. Having already connected with a few Trinity students through the summer baseball league, he wouldn’t be starting off completely fresh. This was a bit of a comfort, but still, it would be a big adjustment. Would it be the right move?

As it turned out, James fit right in with the rest of his new classmates. Conversations at lunch revolved around some typical topics: computers, games, recess, TV, vacations, jokes, food, etc. He found a group with which to play at recess. He raised his hand and offered several insightful answers during those first few days of the school year. As his teacher, I was relieved to see this all happening. Who wants to see a new student struggle upon entering a new school? This was going to be a good fit.

Months Later…

Now, fast-forward a bit to the middle of the school year. In conversation with his parents, our pastor heard the following statement: “You know, he’s not been baptized. James said one day, ‘We talk about Baptism all the time – in chapel, in religion class, in church. Why won’t they let me be baptized?’” Well, of course we weren’t preventing him from being baptized. In fact, this was a rather humorous way to find out that James and his parents were interested in scheduling the Baptism. Even better, they thought that I, his teacher, would be a great choice as a sponsor.

Talk about having Life Together in Christ! That’s what it’s all about: Lutheran schools sharing God’s Word with children and families so that they may hear and believe. We certainly do this in religion class, at prayer times, and during weekly chapel services. However, we also share the truth of God’s Word in science class, at recess, during conflict resolution, while interacting with others, and by how we go about our daily tasks. We take advantage of the fact that people enjoy learning, so we teach them. All day. Every day. We teach them how to read, how to write, and how to do math. We teach them facts, share opinions, and listen to them offer the same to us. Teachers model empathy, patience, and creativity. Most importantly, we model Christ to all those around us.

So, was making the move to Trinity Lutheran School the right one for James? Indeed, it was. He hears about the love of Jesus every day. Daily, he is reminded of God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy. He is built up and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, energized for service to others in response to God’s love. Now that is Lutheran education. That is Life Together in Christ.

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Photo courtesy of Aaron Rohde

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About the Author

Aaron Rohde is the 3rd and 4th grade teacher at Trinity, Reed City.

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