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Life in Greencastle - A People of The Book

If you were to travel into one of the many schools that are now back in session, what would you find? The teachers, of course: refreshed and still overwhelmed by not just the new schedules and new faces but also the always-there weight of knowing they are not just teaching; they are guiding a life further down the road. And you would find the children: wonder-filled and excitable and bored and stressed and peer-pressured and always in formation.

But, you would also find something else. Amidst all the classrooms and corridors, somewhere in those schools you would find textbooks, and you would find curriculum. Tucked away in student's backpacks, in their lockers, and on their teacher's desks, you would find these resources. You will discover sources to give guidance, to help these young lives be shaped as future biologists, writers, administrators or physical therapists.

What, then, is our textbook? Where do we go to learn what we need to learn in order to mature into the person God longs for us to be?

Overwhelming, time and again, ancestors and elders in our Christian faith tell us clearly: our textbook is the Bible. For in those pages we have been given all that is needed to know ... about God ... about why God created us ... about how God relates to us ... about sin and separation ... and - ultimately - how God plans to redeem not just us but all of creation.

Every Sunday, we gather to be guided by God's Word to us. We gather not to stand critically over Scripture but under the authority and good guidance of Scripture.

But, this Sunday we are going to mark a significant event in our community's life. For this Sunday we are going to take God's Word - the very Word entrusted to us - and we are going to pass it onto six of our children: Sarah Lorimer, Jacob Lorimer, David Lorimer, Tiffany Smith, Zach Wilkerson and Parker Black. These six children have come to the age where we can say to them, "you are growing up, and it is important that you have a Word to guide you." And in love and faithfulness, we will pass that Word to them.

But, let's not forget. This is not just about giving a gift to six of our children. What we also do this Sunday is remember together that each of us is invited to learn the ways of Jesus Christ. We are all students in a classroom.

What is more, let us ask ourselves this: what good is a book if it is not opened, and how will our children learn about their faith if they are not taught? Yes, let us take time to say thank you to those in our midst who are teaching our children: Mary Jane Jones, Betsy Demmings and now Molly Carrillo. Let us remember Anna Harmless who has been teaching our infants about God's love as she sits with them. Let us remember others like Corky Crimmins and Lisa Cooper who step away from worship to check on a baby. And let us remember that we too are not free from this responsibility. We are all part of this community and God invites all of us to teach, to pass on our faith.

Through learning and teaching, through trial and celebration, through questions, examinations and success, may we be a people of the Book.

Wes

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