October 4, 2012
So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them .... Romans 12:5-6a
"Sprachgefuehl" is a good, old German word that means someone has a "gift for understanding a language."
Long ago, when I was at seminary, there were those in my class who had a sprachgefuehl for the languages we were studying. Me, I was taking slow, plodding, painful steps in the learning of Greek and Hebrew, while they were asking the professor to give us more homework. Some of the guys, those who were blessed with a heavy dose of sprachgefuehl, started studying other languages on their own.
Even now, I can remember how when we had to take a test, I was jealous of them.
Still, it never occurred to me to threaten them, or throw acid in their faces, or lob a few hand-grenades into their rooms, or put them out of commission with an unhealthy dose of poison gas. No, I didn't want to stop them from learning, I just wanted to learn as easily as they did.
This makes me different from many of the men of Afghanistan.
Wishing to stop young girls from being educated -- desiring to put a halt to the intellectual growth of these teens -- terrorists have done to these girls all the terrible things I have listed in the paragraph above. Indeed, last year Afghanistan saw 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals. The majority of those attacks were made by men who wanted to make sure their girls grew into women who would be ignorant and could be controlled.
That's something which I've never seen happen in Christianity.
That's because we have a Lord who has given to us -- both men and women -- various gifts. Even more, He expects us to use those gifts to glorify Him and be a blessing to those around us. That's the point St. Paul was trying to make in Romans 12. He wanted us to know each of us has been given some talent by the Lord, which can be of assistance to our church, to our families, and to the world.
Maybe that's why when our ancestors came to America, just about the first thing they did was build a school so their children -- both boys and girls -- might be given a good, Christian education.
Those parents wanted to make sure their young charges knew the "four Rs." You know ... readin', writin', 'arithmetic and religion.
Wait! Let's make that the "five Rs." Most of all, our parents wanted us to know the Redeemer, who had given His life to save us from our archenemies: sin, death and devil.
Such a well-rounded education was a good idea back then. It's a good idea still today.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks not only for the talents You have given, but also for the opportunity to use them in Your service. Today I ask that You will protect the girls of Afghanistan who are being threatened by men of ignorance. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries