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(written after graduation 2012)

Recently we enjoyed one of the highlights of each year—the closing concert of our CLC’s Immanuel Lutheran High School, College, and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Messiah Lutheran Church in Eau Claire was filled to capacity with worshipers who had the distinct privilege to hear both the student body choir and the tour choir lift up in harmonic cadence hearts and voices that proclaimed the love of God. There is no greater music than that lifted in praise to the God of our salvation.

Over the years this writer has been an unabashed and unapologetic supporter of Christian education in the home, the church, and at Immanuel. The concert simply verified the blessings of an education that has the Word of God at its center and Jesus Christ at its core. The well-presented concert speaks well to the dedication of director and students, but the beauty of each concert lies in the message.

In one of the highlights of the spring concert, the alumni are invited to join with the student body in a long-standing tradition. Across the large chancel area students and former students rose to sing the stirring hymn, Christ is our Cornerstone—grandparents, parents, and children together singing praise to the Savior!

The next day, graduation day, the campus fieldhouse was filled front to back and side to side. Graduates who completed their respective courses of study were recognized and applauded. They are the magnet that draws the throng.

Again, the beauty of the graduation is that God’s grace is proclaimed in spoken word and song. The assembly praised the Lord who by His Word has given the children a new birth in baptism and nurtured them for heaven through His Spirit.

We recognize the blessing of God who has taken young children and fashioned them into mature Christian adults during their years on campus. The students were sent forth, but not with pious platitudes, for Immanuel graduates were addressed from Scripture which speaks realistically to the human condition, to the grace of God as well as to the challenges that lie before them—particularly challenges to the faith as they live and work in a deteriorating and godless society. They were reminded that they are not alone in their walk, for the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, will lead them, and they will be blessed as they heed His voice and follow Him. He leads them through this life, seeks them out when they fall, and ultimately leads them to the life that transcends anything else that people find precious in this life!

We who are one in faith and hope are one fellowship in Christ. May our gracious God preserve it among us! The gathering at Immanuel is one happy family reunion of former graduates and families from across the country. It is a family reunion of friends who are bound in common faith with common purpose and hope. What a treasure the Lord has given us in our school where so many friendships have been fashioned!

We wish and pray that every parent in the CLC would appreciate the privilege and the blessings an education at Immanuel provides for their children. We wish that every parent and child of the CLC would share the emotion of being able to sing as do they who have experienced the blessings acknowledged in Immanuel’s Alma Mater tribute:

Nestled in the quiet beauty

Of the tall green pines

God has set our Alma Mater

Guiding hearts and minds.

Built on Jesus’ words of promise

O Lord, bless her well.

Thus may e’er our Alma Mater

Be Immanuel.