I love checking Facebook this time of year. One of the joys of being connected with friends from all over is that their kids all attend different schools. For weeks my newsfeed is full of adorable pictures of kids going back to school. As each of these pictures pop up, I pray for the students returning to school. I pray for their teachers, for school staff, and administrators. I pray for the kids to make wise decisions and choose good friends. I pray for them to learn and grow. But most of all, I thank God for new beginnings and I pray for God’s guidance and strength to embrace what is to come. 

Jesus said, “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

For the disciples, there was a new beginning coming. What they had known for the last few years was all going to change. They would no longer have Christ physically present with them, but through the Holy Spirit, He would be with them always. They had to branch out and try new things on their own. They were sent out with a command: love one another…as I have loved you. They were called to try to love with the immense, all-encompassing love that Christ had shown them. 

I wonder if those disciples ever felt like a kid on their first day of school—a little nervous about what is to come yet ready for new adventures and to see what they could accomplish. 

We too have been called to a new beginning, a new covenant. We are called to love with the love of Christ. We can rededicate and reclaim our faith. 

Back to school season is a great time to reboot our spiritual lives. There are many new opportunities for faith formation coming up this month. These are more than just one more thing to do during your week; they are opportunities to reconnect with each other and God. Our small groups help us to practice loving one another with Christ like love, our service opportunities allow us to be loving hands and feet of Christ to the world, and our worship helps us to love God more deeply. 

How can we deepen your faith in the coming months? Who will be walking with us on the journey? Where is God calling us into new beginnings this year? 

Beginning with you,
Pastor Nikki