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Comments for School Supply Blessing

I remember my first set of school supplies. I remember that I had a box of crayons – they were huge crayons and only half round. The idea was that these would be easier for little kids to handle. What really made an impression on me was that this box of crayons only had eight colors. Just eight! Now don’t tell anyone, but at home I was already up to 16 and had even experimented with a box of 64 with the built in sharpener!

Every year that we bought school supplies I was eager to see what box of crayons I was authorized to use. I was disappointed when crayons were no longer on the list. And then there was no glue, no scissors. All the fun went away. After that it was just textbooks and paper.
But for a time, even though I didn’t long for school start and summer to be over, there was some consolation in receiving a brand new set of crayons, glue, scissors, etc. and wondering what neat things we would get to make that year.

I share that memory, because I have been thinking about the 400 or so students in our community who won’t be able to go to the store with their families for one reason or another and get their supplies. Our school systems will provide their supplies. Sure, there are government funds for such resources and I guess we don’t really need to go to all this effort just to buy crayons and glue. Maybe so, but can we grasp what is represented in all of this?

Going to the store with parents to buy school supplies is sort of a basic minimum. If that isn’t able to happen, then it’s probably an indicator of much greater problems. Problems of many types: homelessness, job loss, poverty, parents who don’t care, parents who are addicts ... the list is numerous and government solutions cannot take into account each individual situation.

But God is not the government. He knows each and every child that will attend our schools. He knows their families. He knows their whole story. He is working through all of us to show his love for the children. Something as simple as a box of crayons freely given might make a difference in ways we can never record, but God knows.

So we are going to bring these gifts and give them to God first. Then we are going to trust that God can work through us, through teachers and parents in the school system and his purposes shall be accomplished. This isn’t about us. This is about God’s people willing to give something as simple as cup of cold water and ask that the Lord bless the effort. (Matthew 10:42)

(Elder prays for the School Supply Donations)

Comments for Back to School Blessing

  • Take flyers and invite people to come.
  • Be praying for them now and pray later.
  • We can do more than just bless our own, we should share the blessings that we have.

    Thanksgiving for the Opportunity to Teach our Youth Ministry Interns

    Consider our congregation: consider the size of our congregation, the resources that God has blessed us with, our geographic location. Consider all of that and it follows that we have so many opportunities to serve our community. We also have opportunities to serve the kingdom of God.

    This summer, God gave us the opportunity to welcome four young people who have a heart for ministry into our fellowship. We opened our homes and hearts and created the opportunity for these four young people to experience ministry.

    This was an important benchmark, and I understand that not all of us may have experienced that the same way, but I assure you that West-Ark as a whole has benefitted. I believe that it would be very unchristian for a church of our size and means to only evaluate everything we do in terms of how it directly impacts our congregation. There is a godly and biblical principle that teaches that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We gave an opportunity for Chris, Tyler, Denise and Aaron to come among us and learn about ministry. God has blessed us with the means to provide that opportunity. God has blessed us with families who practice hospitality. God has blessed us with a youth minister who has the skill and experience to teach interns.

    So this morning we give thanks. We give thanks to God that he has brought us thus far and by faith we will grow even more. I hope it will be said about us that this church family is a fellowship in which people grow in their faith and learn ministry.

    God weaves stories together. Our stories are always connected even though they may continue in different paths.

    This is an opportunity to be grateful and show thanks. Again, this isn’t about us. It is about God.

    Chris Benjamin

    West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
    Morning Sermon, 9 August 2009

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