“Yet In My Flesh I Shall See God!”
How much care do we give our bodies over a lifetime? We feed it, clothe it, put it to bed each night, bathe it, brush its teeth, comb its hair, trim its nails, moisturize its skin, and make it fragrant with sweet-smelling perfumes and colognes. Why? Even though we may at times speak of our body as an “it,” the truth is: our bodies are part of our person—a part of who we are as human beings. What affects our bodies affects our souls and what affects our souls affects our bodies. To be a human being is to have a physical body which is animated by the soul that was breathed into us by God at creation. This is why Christians have taken such good care of the body and regarded it as sacred from the time of conception to its reverent burial in the grave in anticipation of the resurrection.
This is also why we celebrate with such devotion the conception and birth of the only begotten Son of God. When God’s Son became man, He became fully human—body and soul. There is no aspect of our salvation in Christ that did not involve Jesus’ body. He was conceived, born, lived, suffered, died, and was raised bodily from the dead for us. Even though we live with our bodies 24/7, we cannot fully comprehend the mystery of human life, that it is a mysterious union of body and soul that was created in the image of God. But it is an awesome mystery that is to be honored and cherished, for we simply have no life from God or with God that does not involve our bodies.
When we die, we are no longer whole. Our bodies and souls have been severed from each other. This is what death is all about. It is a brokenness and injury to our person, body and soul, which Christ came to fix. He redeemed us from sin, the cause of this separation of body and soul. He came to heal the breach caused by sin and to bring the body and the soul back together again into life and union with God. Central to the mystery of our salvation and life with God is the fact that we have no other life with God except that life that we share with Him in the physical union of our bodies and souls with the body and soul of Christ.
The prophet Job expressed this truth in his classic confession of faith in the resurrection of the body: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
In Christ, Pastor Bender
Students of Peace Lutheran Academy dressed in historical costume at their Medieval Feast held March 1 to experience history and literature. The dinner is an annual event for fifth through eighth grade students and is held during their study of William Shakespeare’s plays. This year, as part of their learning about Shakespeare’s background and the origins of the play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Judy Kastelle, Hudson, Wis., provided period costumes for the dinner, flawlessly matching personality and sizes in one up and down glance.
R. J. Frerking, grade six, experienced the sheer physical weight of authority and office as a 20 lb. overcoat, like that worn by King Henry VIII, was placed upon his shoulders. As for the girls, Sarah May, grade seven, was dressed as Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, putting layer after layer of under garments and ruby-toned and gold-trimmed skirting, reinforced by steel shanks and hoop skirts, before being laced up, like the strings of a shoe, into an outer bodice by her attendant, Pam Perry.
At the invitation of the academy, members of Peace’s Coffee Break Bible study joined the dinner. They dressed as jesters with fancy tights and bubble-panted guards to nobles and princes, expressing a full-array of Renaissance classes and occupations from serf to king.
The menu for this three-course royal “Wedding Feast of Theseus” featured Byzantine food from appetizers of olives and egg-and-lemon soup, with a second course of stuffed grape leaves and moussaka, with a final course of baked pudding and honey-sesame seed candy for dessert. While the hall was candle lit, it did not dim the volunteer cooks’ abilities nor darken the willingness of the students to taste something out of the Middle Ages, like keftedes, meatballs curiously seasoned with mint and cinnamon, dredged in barley flour, then fried. Students and adults enjoyed the pretense of lifting a cup of spiced blackcurrant “wine” in tankards or stoneware goblets. The wooded, evening setting, created by live trees aglow with blue light and ambient sounds of running water, transformed a school gymnasium into the imaginative forest of Shakespeare’s play, where fairies are real and love turns mortals into fools.
More pictures of the Feast can be found on the academy website in the picture gallery.
Finding the “perfect” preschool from a variety of options—Montessori, Waldorf, traditional, classical; full-day, half-day, for two- three- and four-year olds, on top of the whole potty-training thing—can be a time-consuming task, especially for Mom. In response, parent support groups, like Moms & More, and a local business, The Big Backyard, have sponsored preschool fairs to make the decision easier. They have assembled local preschools in a central, neutral territory to let families do “one-stop” shopping for a preschool. Parents scan brochures, talk to teachers, and get the low-down on tuition and fees in one visit.
Having learned of the preschool fairs, Peace’s preschool teacher, Mrs. Sara Kohlmeier, and headmaster, Mrs. Kimberly Hughes, have attended three preschool fairs since January 2013: one in Germantown, one in New Berlin, and one in Brookfield,. “It’s nice to see what other preschools are offering and to chat with other teachers of young children. The Germantown fair produced the most leads for us as far as families we may be able to serve,” said Sara. A sponsoring club, MOMS, International, also provided a list of contact information for all of the families that attended their fair. “The New Berlin fair brought in the most people, but everyone we spoke with said that our location was too far away from where they lived or worked. The Brookfield fair was not very well attended.” Though both teachers extended invitations to the Academy and Preschool Open House held Jan. 27, no one from the fairs attended. Regardless, these families will be included in any publicity mailings sent for the 2013-14 school year.
Parents who attend the fairs seek a wide variety of options in a preschool program. Some of those options are a two-year old program or a five-day per week four-year old program. Others express a desire for on-site childcare to eliminate the need for additional transportation to another facility, a convenient location near home or work, or a place where all of their children can be together, either infant care or before- and after-school programs for older children. “At Peace, we provide a safe, Christian environment where preschoolers can learn about their Lord and the world that He has created for them,” said Kimberly. After attending these fairs, Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Kohlmeier thought it would be a good idea to hold a preschool fair at Peace. “That way, we would bring prospective parents into our building,” said Kimberly. Parish Council has approved the idea. Planning is being done, with a tentative date set for Saturday, April 27.
Education Tailored to the Individual Child
An Interview with Sara Kohlmeier
Peace’s preschool offers small class sizes and Christian education. Sara Kohlmeier, preschool teacher, talks about the academy preschool. “I want all of the children to know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die for us and pay the price for our sin. The family atmosphere of the Academy is a unique quality that impresses the parents of the preschool children. Another wonderful aspect of our program is the small class sizes. I am able to tailor the curriculum to the needs of the individual children. I try to create a warm, loving environment for the children, and they have a bright, cheerful classroom with room to move and explore.”
Preschool Open House: May 2, 5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Classical Education Is Wonder-full
Those eyes give the sense of “something more”—perhaps the stance of confidence in a dominating form that will not be moved, but still, those eyes of Rembrandt, in one of his last self-portraits, draw the glance. The portrait portrays Rembrandt’s self-confidence, courage, aged-assurance, or is it simply, the weighty maturity gained from trouble in a man not yet weary and withered by time? Looking upon Rembrandt’s Portrait of the Artist (ca. 1665), the observer looks into his eyes, but also sees through his eyes, taking into one’s self Rembrandt’s own image. Yet, while on a field trip to see the painting, as Matthias Woods said, with little explanation, “It was fuzzy.” Rembrandt painted to represent his life, but like his life, the painting was yet unfinished. As one example of the field trips which the academy students take, they have a two-fold purpose. They directly relate to something the students are studying, and they provide students with an opportunity to view, hear, or observe some part of the fine arts.
The academy students will attend the theater, whether a play, symphony, opera or ballet. “While we do not expect our students to love every play, symphony, or opera we attend, at least they will be able to appreciate it,” said Mrs. Hughes. “Appreciating it” is part of a Classical education. “Appreciating it” means that students have learned to think. In essence, they have learned to wonder.
Similarly, the feasts and festivals which the classes hold, from the “World Festival” or “States Festival” in the lower elementary classes or the “Jane Austen Tea” or the “Admiral’s Dining-In” or the Latin “Ides of March Festival” immerse the students in an environment and culture of long ago. “For the tea, the girls come dressed up and have learned the proper etiquette for the event,” said Mrs. Hughes who teaches upper elementary literature. The “Admiral’s Dining-In” is similar for the boys, but in the form of a naval dinner, military discipline, and the infamous “grog bowl.” Together, the students learn what society and the world was like during the Regency period and how different and similar it is to today.
The festivals take the grammar student who has been gathering information in the lower grades and places them into a new world where they have to make decisions based on what they have read. In some ways, this is a culmination of the first (grammar) and second (logic) stages of the three-stage classical trivium. “The students’ discussion after these events is so much richer,” said Mrs. Hughes. “Classical education produces students who are able to think and learn on their own, who have a knowledge base that enables them to make wise decisions.” Classical education breaks things into parts, like noticing the two great circles behind Rembrandt’s portrait and the pyramid-shape formed by his figure, but it also puts them back together. “These students are then able to go out into the world and fulfill their God-given vocations,” said Mrs. Hughes. It is not an ability to destroy, to be only cynic and skeptic; it is an ability to love: to create and to believe in that “something more.”
Fourth Annual Academy and Cherub Spring Concert
A delightful evening of hymns and traditional, American songs will be performed at the Peace Lutheran Academy and Cherub Choir Spring Concert, Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. Directed by Kathy May and accompanied by instrumentalists, the children’s choirs consist of students (grades K-8) associated with Peace. Admission is free. Enjoy a fish fry dinner ($4-$10) before the concert. Take home dessert or fresh bakery at modest prices from the bake sale.