At this time of year, there is excitement and fear over changes. There are parents who will be sending their young child to school for the first time in a few short months. They worry about if their …
At this time of year, there is excitement and fear over changes. There are parents who will be sending their young child to school for the first time in a few short months. They worry about if their preschooler is ready for school and if they are ready to let them go and trust them to the care of someone they may or may not know. And before we know it, elementary school is over and it is time for the dreaded middle school. As an elementary teacher, there was a great deal of anxiety from parents over the transition to middle school. I truly believe it is an age thing more than a middle school thing. I’ve always believed anyone who is a middle school teacher has a direct line to heaven.
And after you survive those three challenging years, you arrive at high school. You have made it to the home stretch. Nothing has changed for the parents. They still think you are growing up too fast and they want time to slow down just a bit. Where did the past 18 years go?
During Jesus’ 30 plus years of life, he spent his time teaching. Teaching us how to love, teaching us how to care for our neighbor and teaching us how to have faith in a God we will not see in this earthly kingdom. Teaching us that we have been called to continue to do his work as a child of God, no matter our age. And teaching us to put our faith in Jesus Christ, who has baptized us with the living water of the Holy Spirit, so we will be able to take on life’s challenges with Jesus at the center.
Jesus promises to be with us through the power of the spirit, to work in and through us to accomplish his purposes in the world. This does not necessarily happen in easily visible, spectacular ways. Yet wherever there is healing, reconciling, life-giving work happening, this is the work of God. Wherever there is life in abundance, this is Jesus’ presence in our midst.
As we daily experience hope in a weary world, Jesus is with us. In Jesus’ eyes, we will always be his children who he will never stop caring for. Jesus knows that we will always need him at the center. This is how we find our way through the times that challenge us and in the times that we find joy.
Life throws us curve balls, disappointments, joy, laughter and several more emotions, but that is not the sum of me or you or how we are together in Christ. We are a church because Christ opens our hearts to believe what we can do with Jesus as our guide. We believe that Jesus Christ is our way, our truth, our life and our cornerstone.
To Powell’s high school graduates: Christ is our cornerstone, the living stone that holds us up and gives us strength as Christ at the center. As you graduate and a new chapter in your book of life begins, please remember that Jesus, your family and friends, as well as your church and the Powell community will always be here for you. Many blessings to you all!
(Donna Putney is the pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Powell.)