21 March Penning

**Published: ****Tuesday**, 21 **March** 2017****

Ann Arndt, Principal Penning

21 March

 It was a few years back (well, maybe many years) when I was a sophomore in high school. We had a nice teacher for science, but one that did not always make wise decisions. Thinking back on it now, I actually think he should have chosen a different profession! However, he didn’t, became a teacher, and the following actually happened in his classroom. Somehow Mr. “X” had gotten a blood testing kit and told us he would test all of us and tell us our blood types. In our naivety, we were rather excited. The idea might have been good, the procedure was not. He used the same “lance” on all of us, merely wiping it off with a paper towel between students. We honestly did not think a thing about it. We had no concerns. We didn’t, at least, until the next day when one of the students was absent, one that was in our science class. He had been sent to the emergency room the night before, being violently sick, and was diagnosed with hepatitis. Whether it was A, B, or C, I don’t know. We just knew the word hepatitis was scary enough. Soon it would be all over school that all of us in that class were exposed, and that a bus would arrive shortly to take us all to the hospital to get shots to prevent us from getting hepatitis. That is exactly what happened; no parent permission slips and no notes home to parents. My, haven’t things changed? Can you imagine the lawsuits this situation would bring today?

Many other things were different “way back then.” Parents could drop their children to the neighborhood theater and not worry about them being exposed to anything suggestive, graphic violence, or profanity. Children played more freely in neighborhoods. Social media was non existent. I went to public school that was 60% Lutheran, 40% Methodist, 0% unchurched. None of us thought it at all strange that in a public school we prayed before we ate.

Things have changed a lot, in some cases good, some cases bad. Children are exposed to so much more these days through social media and society. When I was a child we feared Russia. Now we fear terrorism, a much harder threat to identify.

So many things have changed! Isn’t it comforting to know the reason for our existence as a Lutheran school is due to the one thing UNCHANGED, and that is the Gospel story of Jesus, and through grace, His forgiveness of us and the promise of eternal life to all who believe. That has not changed and never will. Many times I have been asked what makes our Lutheran schools special. My first answer is that every child hears about Jesus every day in every classroom. After that I do speak of our high academic standards, our wonderful staff at MLA, and our supportive families. Our children need this Christian education.   They need the school, church, and family walking hand in hand to give them the one thing needful, the one thing that remains UNCHANGED. Thank God for Lutheran schools, and MLA in particular. Thank God for Christian parents who see the need for our UNCHANGING Word of God in a rapidly changing world.

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