As another SJCS school year is about to come to a close, I can truly say that it has been wonderful to see the growth in our students as they have progressed in their education, skills, faith, and emotional development. It never ceases to amaze me when I see the progress in the younger students as they learn to read and the older students as they learn to reason and defend their beliefs. We will be saying goodbye to our graduating 8th graders with mixed emotions—sad to see them leave us but excited for what their future holds. I am reminded of what Oswald Chambers said almost 100 years ago in one of his Bible lessons: “Wherever the providence of God may place us, in a slum, in a shop, in the desert, we have to labor along the line of His direction. Never allow this thought – ‘I am of no use where I am,’ because you certainly can be of no use where you are not!” This is a good reminder, not only for our 8th graders as they head of in diferent directions for high school, but also for the rest of us as we labor together in God’s kingdom work. As we look forward to our 60th year here at SJCS, our prayer is that we will continue to instill in our students the Christian values and worldview that will help them to “give an answer for the reason of the hope” that is in them because of Christ.
We began this month focusing on forgiveness as part of our theme CHOOSE taken from Colossians 3:12. Ephesians 4:31-5:2 reminds us what God expects from us as His chosen. We are to get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice; we are to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God has forgiven us; we are to be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. In other words, our lives should spill over and reflect compassion, kindness, and love not bitterness, anger, and malice.
Amy Carmichael (missionary to Japan) wrote, “For a cup, brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted. If it is full of sweet water and is jolted, what will come out of the cup? Sweet water. If you gave it a harder jolt, what’s going to happen? More sweet water. If someone is filled with sweet water and someone else gives him a jolt, what will come out? Sweet water. Jolts do not turn sweet water into bitter water. That is done by something else. Jolts only bring out of the container what’s already in the container. If you’re filled with sweetness and light, and you get jolted, you’re going to spill sweetness and light.” May it be so among God’s children that our lives, no matter how much they are jolted, would spill out compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness.