Photo: (l-r) LFL’s Michelle Bauman, Kim Nessa, and Jerilyn Richard at the 2019 FLY (Free Lutheran Youth) Convention in Estes Park, Colorado, July 2019.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
Galatians 4 offers a beautiful and hope-filled promise, doesn’t it? In two short verses, Paul boldly declares the Gospel message: You are a child of God. And this adoption was not your own doing; it was made possible only through the work of Christ.
Did you hear that? Nada. Zilch. Zero. Nothing. That’s right, as adopted children of the Heavenly Father, we did nothing to earn God’s love or Christ’s legacy. Like every other adopted child, we were sought and brought into God’s family because we were loved long before we were lovable, long before we could love our Father in return. And now that we are His, we recognize that Christ’s redeeming work gives our lives meaning, purpose, and joy.
Galatians proclaims the hope we’ve been given as heirs to eternity; it enables us to celebrate our transformation from slavery to sonship. And it reminds us of our relationship not only with God, but also with others. We are family. As adopted members of the same heavenly family, we uphold and honor the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ, protecting them not only because they are valuable in the eyes of God, but also because they have become valuable to us.
As I prepared to write my first letter to all of you—ardent advocates For Life and supportive members of LFL—I kept returning to this text. Not only does it fit the theme for this issue of LifeDate, but it perfectly describes how joy-filled I am to be serving alongside you. In fact, each conference I have attended this summer, each youth I’ve spoken to, has affirmed that this is a ministry that is both necessary and valuable. And it is a ministry I am overjoyed to share in.
Not only am I passionate about sharing the message that human life is sacred because Jesus made it so, but I am also excited about working with high school and college-aged youth. I have spent the last twenty-two years teaching, mentoring, and shepherding adolescents in the classroom, and I feel both humbled and blessed that God has called me to continue to do so at Lutherans For Life.
As a newly adopted member of the Lutherans For Life staff and family, I look forward to meeting, supporting, serving alongside, and praying for you and your youth. Please also pray for Lutherans For Life, Y4Life, and for our entire team. Pray that God might use us to share the message that life is valuable because it has been created and redeemed. Pray that the Gospel might transform hearts and lives for Him. And most of all, pray that God’s will be done on earth just as it is in heaven.
Thank you for your prayers and your support. Please let me know if I can serve you in any way! (Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Michelle Bauman joined the Lutherans For Life team on June 1, 2019. She earned her Lutheran teaching degree in secondary education from Concordia Nebraska in 1998 and a master’s degree in English from the University of Indianapolis in 2011. Before joining Lutherans For Life, Michelle taught middle school English from 1998 to 2002 at Holy Cross Lutheran School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and English, drama, and speech at Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour, Indiana, from 2002 to 2019. Michelle also served as Trinity’s Recruitment Director from 2004 to 2017. She lives in Columbus, Indiana, with her husband, Pastor Doug Bauman, and two sons, Nathaniel and Simeon, and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church, Clifty, where her husband serves as pastor.