I skimmed Facebook today and noticed the number of first-day-of-school pictures. Ah, the time-honored tradition of recording the monumental moments in our lives.
A new school year represents a fresh beginning. A clean slate. A chance to move forward. Dressed in new outfits and clutching empty backpacks, the kids head out to face the next nine months of their lives.
I remember as a youth opening for the first time the new year’s textbooks. Some subjects were welcome (like science) and I skimmed the table of contents, eager to see what I would learn. Other subjects, like Algebra, looked like Greek that first day, and for the most part it still looked like Greek in May.
When I was growing up, the new school year also meant promotion in Sunday School. The first Sunday in September we would meet in the sanctuary and the Sunday School superintendent would call the names of those being promoted. We would proudly walk to the front, get our certificates of promotion, and be led to our new classroom by the teacher.
Parents clapped while we worried about things like where would we sit, would we like the new teacher, and how would the older kids treat us.
We celebrate each school year for what it is – a major accomplishment in our children’s lives. But we need to celebrate the accomplishment of learning in God’s school too. Do you have promotion Sunday at your church? How about posting pictures of the kids “moving-up?”
Do we spend as much time asking questions about what they learned in Sunday School as we do asking about what they learned in school? Are we as concerned about their spiritual knowledge as we are about their worldly knowledge?
Join me in prayer today, and for the entire school year, for our kids. Pray for safety at school (sad we have to do this), for their readiness to learn, and for teachers who have the mind-blowing task of moving the knowledge from the page to the brain.
And pray for our Sunday School teachers as well. The knowledge they share makes life-altering differences.