August 18, 2017

Today I find myself feeling conflicted with competing emotions of despair and hope. After all the negative news we have heard this week surrounding the awful hatred, violence, and bigotry seen in Charlottesville last weekend along with the terrible new of Barcelona yesterday, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of despair at times. Yet, at the same time I am particularly reminded today of the power of hope and new beginnings as so many teachers and students start back to school today.

If we are to ever eradicate judgment, racism, and bigotry from this earth, we must be active in doing so with the next generation through education. We must teach them in our schools, churches, and families that all people are children of God and deserve the same respect, kindness, and treatment. We must teach them that violence is not how God desires for us to solve problems. We must show them the power of kindness and compassion towards others.

Today, will you join me in praying for our students who are starting a new year? May this new beginning be a day of hope reminding us all that we can turn a new page in life and leave the old behind. May this year for our students be one of learning math, science, language, arts, and other curriculum, but also a year of learning humility, meekness, patience, and respect for all.

Today, will you join me in praying for our teachers who are starting a new year? May this new beginning be a day of hope for our teachers as well. May it be a year where they teach students the knowledge needed for life and careers, but also the spirit and heart that this world so desperately needs. May our teachers be filled with strength and patience in times of need to do a job that never receives the gratitude it deserves.

Despite all the negativity on my social media news feed, I am choosing to make today a day of hope. It is a day to be reminded that we believe in a God of resurrection who can overcome even death on a cross. We believe in a God who offers new beginnings if we simply reach out and take it. We believe in a God who wants us to experience the abundant life together as a community that Jesus promised us, if we will simply live out the greatest commandment to love God and love our neighbor.