Opening Chapel

By Heidi Blokland

Another year of learning and growing has begun at Timothy Christian School. Another year of practicing number facts and memorizing Bible verses. Another year of speaking French and playing musical instruments. Another year of writing interesting stories and finding out fascinating things about creation and how to care for it. Another year of building knowledge, building faith, and building God’s kingdom.

On our first day of school we gathered together in our Opening Chapel. We came together in joy, worshiping God and thanking him for his faithfulness.

Wired for Joy is our theme for the year. God has created us to have joy and to share joy with others. But how do we have joy when things are difficult?

Pastor Aaron Thompson helped us understand what gives us joy in the midst of darkness.

Volunteers came forward and they were each given a balloon. On the balloon they wrote something that makes them happy.

And then Pastor Aaron asked them if it always makes them happy. The answer was no – sometimes dogs bite and sometimes we don’t get along with everyone in our family.

One by one, Pastor Aaron put a flame below each balloon, demonstrating when things go wrong or sad things happen. And one by one, the balloons popped. The happiness they gave was gone.

So how do we keep our balloons from popping? How do we keep our joy?

We need something, or rather someone, inside.

We need Jesus!

With Jesus inside the balloon didn’t pop. Sad things can still happen – the dog can still bite, we can still get in a fight with our brother or sister – but Jesus helps us keep our joy.

The joy of the Lord is our strength!

The apostle Paul and Silas knew this when they ended up shackled in prison. Rather than being sad or mad, they chose to sing songs of joy to God.

That is our prayer this year as well – that Jesus is our joy and that he will give us the strength to choose joy and sing to him.