School opened last Wednesday (as I write this, it is Monday evening). It was nice to see the children returning to school. The building had been quiet for too long. When school ended last May, I rejoiced! It was time for the school year to be over. But then, as the summer progressed through the weeks, I began to long for the children to be back. With Vacation Bible School during the 3rd week of June, I had a taste of being around the children again. Their vitality, their joy, their energy - and I wasn't quite ready for school to begin. I still needed to spend the time growing in my faith, enjoying the quiet of the building and the peace of what the summer schedule brings.
But then August arrived. After a quick, brief trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (if you have never been there or have never seen Lake Superior, I would encourage you to make the trip up there to enjoy the wonders that the Lord has made), I came to realize, it was time. It was time!
Time for the children to come back into the building. Time to enjoy their energy. Time to be involved in their daily life again. Time to spend time with the school staff (I missed the regular contact with each of our teachers). Time to have that part of the ministry return.
What you need to understand is that while the students were off school, the ministry of the congregation continued on. I rejoiced that I was given the opportunity to preach each week (3 times!), lead Bible study, call on the members, offer comfort and strength to the hurting, proclaiming the wonderful message of the Gospel to each and every one that I was in contact with - for that is what my summer entailed. So the summer was still busy. The ministry of the congregation was extremely vital and growing through out the summer months. St. Paul's Lutheran Church has been so blessed!
And here they were - the children. They arrived with bright, shiny faces. They were excited to be back at school. I was also excited to see them back. As I watched them, I thanked God for each and every child that came into our school. I prayed for each child. I thanked God for each of our teachers, praying for God to guide them and strengthen them as they began this new school year.
I would encourage each one of you to spend time in prayer as well. Pray for the teachers. Pray for the students. Pray for the school. Pray for the families of our school. Pray for the School Board. And don't stop praying for all these people. Day after day, week after week continue to lift up the school in your prayers. And I will continue to pray for you!