On Tuesday, September 4 we begin our 56th year of offering Christian Education at Timothy Christian School in Williamsburg!
As we begin our year we are reminded of God’s faithfulness to the school. And we are reminded that he has a calling for each one of us, that we are to be his ambassadors and witnesses, shining his light, building his kingdom, sharing his joy!
Our theme for the year is Wired for Joy! God has created us to have joy. This joy is not joy as the world understands it, but it is the Joy of the Lord.
Just before Jesus was betrayed and crucified he talked to his disciples about joy. “Remain in me,” Jesus said, “and I will remain in you. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
And then Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.“ John 15:4, 5, 11
How amazing that just a few days before the darkness of the Crucifixion, Jesus is telling his disciples they are to have joy, and not just a little bit of joy, but complete joy!
Henri Nouwen, in his book, Here and Now, writes an entire chapter about joy.
“Joy is essential to spiritual life. Whatever we may think or say about God, when we are not joyful, our thoughts and words cannot bear fruit. Jesus reveals to us God’s love so that his joy may become ours and that our joy may become complete. Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing – sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war or even death – can take that love away.”
In a few short days, our new school year will start and we know that we will face difficulties. We will face sickness and failure. There will be emotional distress, perhaps oppression and maybe even death. And yet, in the midst of that, we are called to choose joy, to recognize that we are created for joy!
Let us take courage from the book of Philippians where Paul challenges us to choose joy.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:4-7
We are excited about this theme, and also a little nervous.
We know that the darkness in this world is real and that often it is not be easy to have joy. Jesus himself told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble.”
Jesus didn’t stop there. He continued, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
As we grapple with this theme, wondering how to choose joy in the midst of darkness, we ask that you pray for the school. Pray that TCS will be a place where God’s name is honoured and glorified, where his joy is lived out and shared.