Beauty in the changing seasons, beauty in the stormy sea;
All the changing moods of nature praise the changeless Trinity.
- From the hymn, God All Nature Sings Thy Glory
Of all the changing moods of nature, moving from summer into fall seems to be the most melancholy. Wedged between the sparkling freedom of summer and the brisk order of the school year is August, that month-long Sunday night of looking back with regret at squandered free time and looking forward with a mixture of apprehension and relief to the routine that lies ahead.
Yet, here we are at the end of August, throwing off that summer nostalgia and getting ready for what comes next. On September 9 th we will begin a new Sunday school year in a new church building! We are working to make sure lesson plans and supplies are in place and classrooms are prepared. Teachers and aides are preparing themselves to provide foundational biblical and doctrinal principles, to show the love of Jesus Christ and to form lasting relationships with students from preschool through high school. Why do we do it? I’m sure each of us has our own unique motivation, but I think what binds us as a group is Christian fellowship. We see our role as coming alongside parents as they seek to equip their children in the Christian faith. That’s right! There are people among you who see their mission field as a preschool – or even a middle school – classroom!
When my own children were little, we loved to go to family functions at my in-laws' house. Between older cousins to play with them and show them the ropes, aunts and uncles to watch them, a grandma and grandpa to love them, and even an Italian great-grandma who everyone called, Granny, and who made each child feel like theirs was her favorite faccia bella, we felt the burdens and worries of parenthood lifted off us for that time.
Trinity is like that big, extended family as God uses each of our gifts in unique ways. Parents are responsible to guide their own children spiritually by worshiping with them, reading the Bible with them, praying with them and living out their faith in front of them. The rest of us are called to extend the life-giving love of Jesus to the children and parents of our church by supporting them and walking alongside them in this journey of faith. So what is your role this season? Are you called to walk alongside them and instruct them or to pray for those who do? Maybe you are called to love them by working behind-the-scenes on their behalf or devoting consistent prayer time to them. Or maybe you are that special someone who only sees them on Sunday morning but whose face lights up with the love of Jesus when you see their beautiful faces, and they see yours.