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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Measured To You"

October 11, 2011

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(The LORD said) ... "You shall say to them, 'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.'" Numbers 6:23b-26

For want of a better term, I have labeled this week "Circus Week." In the last ten days Daily Devotion readers have inundated me with ideas they think would make a good devotion. I agree. But why call it Circus Week? The title comes from a layperson who said, "In many places the church isn't Christ's Church ... it is a circus." Next week the devotions return to our regular style. Pastor Klaus

The second act of Circus Week takes us to the high school health class of Steve Cuckovich, a teacher in Vacaville, California.

Cuckovich is a teacher with a mission.

Cuckovich has decided that saying "bless you" after someone sneezes is disruptive and disrespectful. He feels so strongly about the expression he has even docked a student's grade by 25 points for saying the phrase. Understand, Cuckovich says his mission has nothing to do with religion. He just feels blessing someone is an outdated practice and disruptive of class time.

I agree with Cuckovich, at least in part. I have been around people who sneezed with the force of a small, nuclear blast. To say their sneeze disrupted me would be an understatement. But never have I felt that a blessing after a sneeze was disruptive. And as far as being disrespectful, I can't figure out where he is coming from on that one.

Actually, the more I think about it, having my health instructor interviewed by ABC News in Fresno would be more disruptive than a blessing; watching a student feel robbed of a good grade would be disruptive, and dealing with parents who are upset with Cuckovich's heavy-handed tactics would really be disruptive.

The truth is you, I and even Steve Cuckovich need God's blessing. Family, health, happiness and the joy which comes from having Jesus as Savior are just a few of God's gracious gifts. This is why I believe, it is right and proper to receive God's blessing after a sneeze, before a sneeze or when there has been no sneeze at all.

You might want to know that those parents who were upset with having their children's grades upended because they had said, "bless you," registered their complaint with Cuckovich. After hearing their point of view, he suspended the practice.

But Cuckovich has said he will "just find another way to discipline students for saying 'bless you' in class."

That's because Steve Cuckovich is a teacher with a mission.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the devil and the world are committed to keeping people away from Your many blessings. May Your people be equally committed to sharing the joy and gladness which comes from having a loving Lord who blesses us beyond our deserving. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.

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In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Micah 1-3    Acts 21:1-17

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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