Pass It On is one of the best things about our school, and here are three reasons why:
So many good things happen in school, but most of those things happen within our four walls. The opportunity that we have to get out together and put our faith into action by serving our community helps redirect our focus from ourselves and toward others.
I'm a firm believer that we need to leave things better than when we found them. Whether that's a room, a person, the environment, or the community ... let's be sure that the people and the world around us are better for having been in contact with us. God loves people, God loves His world, and one of the primary ways that God expresses that love is through His people. Pass It On is about expressing God's love through our lives in such a way that the people and places that we impact are better than before we came on the scene.
I love teaching students, but working alongside them is even better. There's something about working and serving together that builds bonds, creates memories, and deepens relationships in a special way. Pass It On is one of the best things about our school because working together to serve the community cultivates a layer of relationship with the students and each other that the classroom alone can't cultivate. Take advantage of that.
What we do throughout a normal school day is special at GCS for all kinds of reasons, and our worldview emphasis is a key part of that. Pass It On is one of the best things about our school because that worldview goes into action in God's world and in the community in which He's placed us. (Make that FOUR reasons!)
Work coram Deo: before the face of God, under the authority of God, and to the glory of God!
Check out some photos of 2021 Pass It On here!
A friend recently said to me, “ I do not know of anything [referring to COVID] that has ever been so divisive among friends, especially in the Christian community.” You have probably experienced this first hand—a situation where you held your tongue or walked on eggshells or avoided someone because just the thought of sharing your thoughts, convictions, or experiences concerning COVID could possibly bring an onslaught of uncomfortable emotions and pointed words your way. So you took the safe path.
There are, of course, times to hold your tongue to speak gently and carefully and times to speak truth in a loving way. Wisdom is knowing what to do when. But the problem with COVID is that many of us have taken the safe path for so long that our relationships have suffered. We have forgotten how to do life together.
My hope and prayer for our school family this year is that we would remember how to be friends. How to have fun. How to laugh and break bread together.
A great way to take a step in this direction is to come out to the Pass It On Family Picnic tonight! Find someone who needs a friend and be that for them. Approach the person you have been avoiding and let them know you miss them. Laugh, eat, watch the children play, share some cotton candy!
As believers we are one Body. Don’t let anything have a foothold in divisiveness. Find your common ground in Jesus. Let’s do life well—together!
In my Bible class, we viewed a video by John Stonestreet, who is the president of Colson Ministries. He was talking about how we approach the Bible, and I would like to share some of his thoughts with you.
The Bible is God’s revelation to us. The first four words in the Bible are “In the beginning, God.” The Bible does not begin by proving God’s existence. Instead, it begins with the assumption that God exists. The Old and New Testaments show us that God has spoken and that He is personal.
We often approach God’s Word in ways that it should not be. Some view the Bible as a rule book that we are to follow. It does tell us how we are to live, but it is so much more than that. Others have said that it is a love letter to His people; however, the Bible contains some pretty harsh and brutal content. Sunday schools tend to present the stories of heroes. Quite often, these “heroes” are not the true hero of the story or the point of the story is missed because it is taken out of context. There are many books written in modern times that will pull certain scriptures to be used for inspiration. The Bible can be inspirational, but it also makes us recognize our sin and need for a savior.
One of our major problems is that we do not read the Bible as it was meant to be read. The first Bible to add chapters and verses was the Geneva Bible, published in 1560. Before that time, each book was a full and complete letter that was not broken down into little sections. When we read the Bible, we often do it by verses or small sections. The different books are meant to be read all at once, and when we do that, we see a much bigger picture and gain a deeper understanding. We often choose life verses that can mean something different from the verse placed in context. There is something that I call “verse theology.” It means that I can pull verses out of their context and prove something completely different from what the whole Bible teaches. We need to let Scripture interpret Scripture, and if we read the whole Bible, we will usually notice when a verse is out of context.
The Bible is God’s Word in which He reveals Himself to us. We are called to be obedient to Him, and we must know what He commands of us; and yet, we don’t know the Scriptures, because we don’t read all of the Bible. I have read through the Bible over 20 times, and it has been one of the most impactful ways that God has changed me. If you haven’t read the Bible from cover to cover, please consider taking on that challenge. There are a lot of programs that can take you through the Bible in a year or less. It will take less than twenty minutes every day. Get to know the God we serve, as He has revealed Himself through the Holy Scriptures.
Jesus says, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” Philosopher Dallas Willard suggests that perhaps on the back side of that statement lies the idea that “in general, if we do nothing, it will certainly be without him.” Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing; but if we do nothing, it will be without Him. Where does that leave us? It leaves us completely engaged in this world and completely dependent on its Lord.
If Jesus’ statement about our complete dependence on Him is a source of encouragement for our work in this world, it can also be a reminder to stay completely engaged. Skye Jethani says that God “commissioned His image-bearers to carry his order, beauty, and abundance to the ends of the earth. This mission, frustrated and derailed by our rebellion, can now be reengaged as we are reconciled to God through the cross and made new in Christ.” In other words, Christians—image-bearers reconciled to the Creator—are called to complete engagement in the world. Don’t be discouraged into hiding or evacuating from the world. In a statement that includes a sting, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Any attempt to escape from the world must sooner or later be paid for with a sinful surrender to the world.” Ouch!
I know that, for many, the temptation to disengage is intense. But don’t give up! First, it’s not our own strength that gets us through. Apart from Jesus, you can do nothing! But second, He hasn’t called us to nothing. He’s called us, in our various life roles, to bring about order, beauty, and abundance into the world. If we neglect that, what do we expect the world to look like? I used to get overwhelmed thinking about things that I have no control of, and those thoughts will lead to despair or even that sinful surrender to the world that Bonhoeffer speaks of. But what if we worried less about what we can’t do and rather poured prayerful energy into those things that the Lord has called us to? What if each of us cultivated order, beauty, and abundance in our small part of the world? Isn’t that what Jesus calls and equips us to do? Let’s do it! Let’s be completely engaged in our Creator’s world, and let’s rest in being completely dependent on Him in that engagement.
May the Lord bless each of you!