As appeared in The Pioneer newspaper Aug 10, 2022
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future.”
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
It’s that time of year when parents and their students are rushing around, lists in hand, going from store to store to hopefully get all the “supplies” needed to ensure a successful school year. It’s also that time of year when teachers, administrators, and other school staff are scrambling to get everything “in order”—classrooms, bus routes, class schedules, etc., in preparation of the impending school year.
Our youngest child graduated from high school in May of 2021. I admit that was a happy, yet melancholy, time. Our oldest child had started kindergarten in 1998, and our youngest graduated in 2021. Wow… Our four kids had been in school for a total of 23 years; and that’s not even counting the college years! I was told recently that “you really are just so sentimental…” And, I said, “Why, yes, yes, I am…” But, I digress…
In the midst of all the preparations, plans, and purchases, the start of another school year can also remind us that education is truly important and a necessary thing. A good education sets the foundation for any future endeavors one hopes to pursue. However, just because we “graduate” does not mean we are done “learning”—our “education” continues every day, hour, and moment.
Here is something else to think about: we value our “academic” education, but how much do we value our “Christian education?” A brother pastor of mine, Rev. Mark Doane, wrote the following, “I wonder how many of us spend time studying our Bible. I know when I was in school, if I didn’t study, I couldn’t answer the questions the teacher would ask. It’s the same with us as Christians. People have questions, and if we don’t study our Bibles, how can we answer them?”
Rev. Doane goes on to share that he believes, and I agree with him, that we all have much room for improvement in our Christian education. Coming to worship is just one aspect of our Christian “education”— we need other pieces to help enhance our growth as a Christian. We should be constantly studying God’s word, the Bible; attending Sunday school or Bible study groups; fellowshipping with fellow believers; and continuing to live out what Jesus called “the greatest Commandment”: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
May you continue to learn, love, serve and live like our Savior.
God Bless You!
Pastor Chuck Kurfman, Highland Hope United Methodist Church