This Sunday is one of my favorites!
We'll be lifting up education in worship this week: our God-given ability (and right?) to learn, grow, and teach one another.
The possibility of a good and accessible education is a mark of a good and well-ordered society, in my view. This is why I'd be willing to pay for other's education even if I didn't have children: a bright and learned society helps everyone in the end.
Primarily, though, I think Christians should view education not only as a means to personal improvement, but more so as a means to using God-given gifts to better the world and solve big problems facing humanity in these days. And that, Beloved, is directly related to Jesus' call for us to love our neighbor as ourselves. How we channel our education to better the world is an act of love, and for the Christian, an act of devotion to the God who is love.
The poignant and prolific pastor William Sloane Coffin put it like this:
No sermon on love can fail to mention love's most difficult problem in our time-how to find effective ways to alleviate the massive suffering of humanity at home and abroad. What we need to realize is that to love effectively we must act collectively, and that in collective action personal relationships cannot ignore power relationships. Until Christians learn this truth of a technological, complex world, we shall be in this world as lap dogs trying to keep up with the wolf pack.
In this way, a good education can lead us to love the world and serve God in this world. This is most certainly true.
So this Sunday, we'll celebrate in word, in song, and even by wearing our high school or college alma mater! We'll bless backpacks and briefcases (and if you have a Kindergartner, stay after worship for a special Milestone Blessing and to receive a tag). We'll share coffee and conversation and send our graduates on their way rejoicing.
See you in church,
P.S. Don't forget to mark your calendars for Summerfest on the 13th, our Bluegrass Worship beginning on the 20th with Christmas in August, and that we'll be welcoming our new Associate Pastor Marsha Anderson starting August 7th!