Back to School

   It’s that time again!  The days of summer are winding down as we try to squeeze in as many warm-weather events as we can.  Going to the pool, having another picnic, and making one last trip to the beach before it’s too late have become immediate parts of our agenda.  We’re trying to find the best deals on new shoes, book bags, composition notebooks, glue sticks, and mechanical pencils.  It is the “back-to-school” season!  For some, it’s an amazing time of anticipation!  You may identify with the type of parents that can barely wait for the relief that the routine of a school year brings back to your family life.  Maybe you connect with the excitement of a student looking forward to the hope of a new teacher, a new class, and of course… those new school clothes.

   However, there are some who experience a sense of loss as their babies go back to school.  They know they are going to miss the joy of having those kiddos that have been running around in and out of the house all summer long.  Then there’s the anxiety of some students who don’t like going into the unknown or unfamiliar.  The newness brings nervousness.  “Will I get along with my classmates and teachers?”  “Am I going to have more responsibilities?”   “Can I handle my course work?”  Some look forward to the new school year as others fear what it will bring.

   This could be a picture here of what eternity looks like to us.  For those who follow Jesus, there is a hopeful anticipation of what the future holds.  We look forward to life spent with our Creator, our Lord, and our Comforter!  We can hardly wait for those days where there will be no more sin or death, no more pain and no more darkness.  Instead, we will have new bodies, a new home, a new heaven and a new earth. 

    The Apostle John writes in Revelation 21: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’  He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”    (Revelation 21:1-5 NIV) 

   This is the hope that we have as followers of Jesus!  But for others,   eternity brings a sense of dread.  The fear of not knowing where eternity will be spent is a reality for far too many people that we come into contact with every day.  Anxiety plagues the lives of those without the hope that we have as Christians because their Savior, Jesus Christ, remains unknown or at least unfamiliar to them.  They may not understand that He is a good Teacher.  They are missing the joy of belonging to a community where true love is experienced.  Some may have been hurt in the past by bullies that claimed to be Christian but did not treat them with the love that Jesus commands.

   As we are preparing to step into this new school year, let us bring the hope we have found in our faith in Jesus Christ with us to every situation.  Let’s keep our schools, administrators, bus drivers, teachers and students lifted up in prayer.  Let us also be reminded to invite others to come and be a part of our lives where we receive the love and teaching of Jesus.  Let us help ease their anxiety about eternity by showing them that they too can have the hope that comes from the good Teacher.  This school year, let us model what we’ve learned about the love we are to have for our fellow classmates in the body of Christ so that they will know we are truly His disciples.  May this back-to-school season be one of true hope for you, your family and your community!

                           Blessings,

                           Pastor Jason Daniel