This is a glorious time of year for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many churches have entered the season of Advent.
This is a glorious time of year for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many churches have entered the season of Advent. The term Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” The Advent season is a time to be both reflective and anticipatory as we celebrate the birth of Christ and look forward to His future coming. I was pondering the idea of how Advent and the concept of waiting with expectant hope parallels the journey of education.
In the realm of education, there are a lot of great truths to garner from thinking about Advent. The central idea of Advent is waiting with longing expectation. “Waiting” and “expectation” are core components for Christian educators because we may or may not see initial fruit from our work. We are investing and depositing our lives into the lives of children. When I see a student walking on one of our campuses, I think about what he or she will be one day. It is exhilarating to ponder such possibilities! In the here and now, we wait for . . . we expect in . . . we invest in. . . we hope in . . . the students under our care. What we see in our students now is not the way it will always be. It is important for us as a culture oriented towards instant gratification to learn to celebrate the waiting.
ECS is a place to invest, to wait, to expect great and mighty things. As we celebrate 50 years of educational history, there are many that would attest to various people in their lives who have shaped whom they have become. Our graduates may point back to Mr. V’s chemistry class, Mrs. Peggy’s kindergarten class, Coach Roelofs’ coaching, or Mrs. Yelverton’s 3rd grade as key influencers in their lives. May we exalt Christ this Advent season through academics, sports, fine arts, family traditions, etc. Teachers, may you teach with joyful waiting and expectation on whom your students are in the process of becoming. Parents, may you lead your family with hope and humility knowing that parenting is a long process that is rooted in waiting and healthy expectations.
I believe it is fitting to close with our theme verse for our semi-centennial year. The verse is in the context of the future glory of Israel. The verse calls us to do something: ARISE and SHINE in light of the coming of Jesus. He is the light who has come and the glory of the Lord. We are called to live by faith with cheerful expectant hope . . .
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1 ESV).
P.S. If you are interested in going deeper with Advent, here is a great resource for both personal and family use from the church we belonged to in Austin: http://files.austinstone.org/advent/Christmas-Book-2015_web.pdf