September marks the end of summer, and the beginning of so much. School starts again (to the dismay of students and joy of parents everywhere), and with it, we return to the less free-wheeling schedule of catching the bus, and doing homework. Camping is over but football begins. Dance classes, marching band, bowling start; the list goes on.
Did you notice how much of these beginnings is not really “new?” Instead, it is a return to something that is familiar, and what we’ve done before, what we looked forward to. Its really starting over.
You know, that’s not a bad idea in terms of our daily drive to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Rally Day is Sept. 11 and the Sunday school and worship schedules change to the fall times on that day. (Sun school at 9:30, worship at 10:45) Sunday school classes start meeting in earnest on Sept. 18, with every class in its room, praying, sharing, opening the Bible and learning to apply God’s truth to the questions of living.
It’s a great time for all of us to “start over,” and I want to encourage you to do just that. Maybe summer saw you traveling, vacationing, visiting family and you didn’t attend worship as regularly for a few weeks. Maybe it was your Sunday school class that ended and so you didn’t attend Summer Sunday school. Now is the time to start again, to pursue the goal that Christ has laid out for us, and toward which he is leading us.
Do you remember the story of Elijah on the mountain hearing the still small voice of God? Elijah had been threatened by Queen Jezebel. He was having success leading Israel back to the Lord and away from false gods she worshiped, and Jezebel threatened to kill him. The stress was too much and Elijah ran away. (You don’t hear many stories about God’s heroes literally running away, but it’s in the Bible. 1 Kings 19:1-15) God met Elijah on his journey miraculously feeding and strengthening him. But that wasn’t enough.
Elijah kept running. He ran all the way to Mount Horeb, the place where Moses met God in the burning bush. There God spoke to him, and Elijah found the strength to head back to Israel and continue God’s work.
Elijah needed to start over. Not because he failed. Just because that’s what we humans all have to do from time to time. And this is a great time to start again. At your church. Rejoin the choir or handbells, or join for the first time. Return to Sunday school or make it a new practice. Come to small group. There are lots of opportunities. Its your chance to start again on the path you know is so important.
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