I can smell erasers when I hear that phrase. At my house, “back to school” means that our whole schedule changes and the tempo of life accelerates. My daughter is a music teacher at the High School and my wife works with her as the accompanist for her choirs. My son is beginning his career as a student teacher, and my schedule of on-line classes for the King’s Seminary is about to begin.
The Church also enters a new busy season as all the children return to classes and the Children’s ministry, Middle School group, and High School group, all begin to adjust to the realities of a new school year.
In a seemingly unrelated note, I also conducted a memorial service for a dear saint, Dorothy Chapman Stewart. Her service was held at the chapel at Eugene Bible College. I say ‘seemingly’ unrelated because Dorothy helped to endow programs and build facilities at the Bible College. One of the buildings is named after a member of the Stewart family. Still, even that fact is not why I mention her when speaking about the “back to school” theme of this morning’s message.
What struck me about Dorothy is the fact that every time I visited her in the care facility where she spent her last years, her room looked like a study. Bibles and notes and study helps were everywhere. She would position her wheel chair, straighten her hair and then say, “Tell me about what the Lord is doing.”
Now I know that it is rude to comment on a woman’s age, but I make mention of hers because of her remarkable longevity. She was 93 years old when she went to be with her Lord. To the day she died, she was reading and talking about the Lord to anyone who would listen. She had Bible studies in the care facility. In short, she was a life-long learner and disciple in the truest sense of those words. She was not a perfect person, but she was a life-long follower of Jesus.
As we begin this new season, I want us to begin it with an admission. We all need to know the Lord better. We all need to study His Word. We all need to learn how to serve Him better. The Apostle Paul, in his last letter which he wrote from prison, makes a few very personal requests to Timothy:
“Please come before Winter, Please bring my cloak . . . the warm one, and please bring the parchments.”
At the end of his life, he still wanted the parchments which contained the Word of God. Sounds like a life-long learner. How about you?