Ephphatha! “Be opened!” That’s what Jesus said to the deaf mute. His ears were broken, he could not speak correctly. No doctor could repair him.

What does that have to do with school? Everything. For school is about getting your ears working right—how to listen—and learning to speak correctly.

We want to speak correctly by using the right words, good grammar, and when you’ve progressed, learning the Latin language, the foundation of Western culture and history, and the basis for the terminology of law, science, and medicine.

Yet learn all this, master it all and become a powerful lawyer, a great scientist, a brilliant doctor, and you still will not speak correctly. For the kind of speaking God has in mind for us is right speaking about the world and everything in it.

We are here in school to study the natural world, the things of God’s creation; to look at beautiful things in art and literature and music; and then to learn from these to love God and neighbor. For if a smart man says, “I hate you!” he has not spoken correctly. If a brilliant man tells a lie, he has not spoken correctly.

Ephphatha! Be opened! said our Lord Jesus Christ. We are here to have our ears opened by listen to the Word of God. And then we can respond correctly. That response is in our theme verse for the year: Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Welcome, or welcome back, to Immanuel. I pray this is a place where our ears are opened, our minds are filled with good things, and we learn to speak good things, beautiful things, words of praise to God and love to our neighbor. +INJ+