Welcome back. That will be said over and over again today at St. Paul's school. The teachers will welcome back the students for another school year. It will be said at schools around the town of Troy and all the neighboring communities as they start up over the next few days.
Welcome. That will be said by teachers who have never had some students before. There are new students in the school - preschool 3 students who are scared to leave mom and dad, preschool 4 students who didn't attend preschool last year, new students in school who are starting fresh at a new school. Welcome.
Yet we say much more than "welcome" or "welcome back." At St. Paul's, we say to the students, "Jesus loves you." That is why the school is here, to proclaim the love of Christ in the classroom while teaching the students the wonders of this created world.
It is upon this Rock that we build our school year. "You are the Christ, the Son of God," Peter proclaims to Jesus. "Upon this rock (Jesus Christ), I will build my Church," Jesus responds. The Rock is none other than our Savior Jesus Christ. We build each day upon the Rock. We build the classroom on the Rock. We build our lives on the Rock.
This is going to be a great school year, not because we are so great, but because our Savior is so great. When we build upon Him, it will be great. There will be times of sorrow. There will be failures. There will be frustrations. AND there will be joys. There will be victories. There will those times when the student suddenly "gets it."
No matter what happens this year, we build on the Rock. We build on Christ. He forgives. He strengths. He blesses. He guides. It truly is all about Christ. Built on Him, the Rock. We move forward.
Built on the Rock - school year 2016-2017. There is no better place for us to build.