I sit here and look at the sun. It is just peeking over the tops of the houses and trees that can be seen outside my front room windows. It shines right into the living room and dining room - I sit in the dining room. As it slowly lifts its bright yellow head over the trees, I think of the new day dawning. I know it brings new opportunities, new challenges and new experiences for as the sun rises today, another school year begins.
St. Paul's Lutheran School in Troy, IL has its first day of school for the 2012-2013 school year. There are many excited children out there. Last night as I trolled Facebook posts, I noted how many parents were talking of their children being overly excited for the start of the school year. They had been talking about it for the past couple days, perhaps even the last week. New backpacks, new uniforms, new pencils and pens, new erasers, new notebooks, new classrooms, new teachers - new experiences.
As I watched the sun become fully visible through the trees, I thought that there are so many new opportunities for us as teachers and pastors to share with the children the wonders of this world - the knowledge that needs to be taught in many and various ways. More than that, and this is where I believe that the parochial school has the advantage in education, we have the opportunity to share the message of life and hope found ONLY in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is there that I begin to get excited about the new school year. I will have the opportunity to share Christ with the children in this school, their parents and families and with the staff. Not only do I get to put the message forward each day, I am compelled to speak of the Gospel of Jesus Christ each day. Christ is the heart and center of our lives.
As the sun starts to shine brightly in my eyes, I know that even as the day has dawn, that is how it is in the school. It will start slow as the students begin to learn the routine of each day - when to get up, how to get dressed, what to eat, what time they will leave, what to do when they arrive at school, what happens first in the classroom, what is expected of them as they go into the classroom, etc. - it will soon ramp up and shine brightly as learning takes place, as the message is shared.
Chapel is at 9:00 a.m. I will have greeted the teachers and students (I have spent time the last mornings praying for each teacher and their students, each family and the school in general) and the time will come for the first "Good Morning!" to ring out in church with that chapel. We will learn of our theme "Baptized to Serve." We will begin to learn Psalm 100:2 "Serve the Lord with gladness; come into His presence with singing." And the message of life and hope, the message of Jesus Christ will shine brightly upon all who are there.
The new day dawns, the new year begins - and the message is the same. Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.
Shine brightly Son! Shine brightly!