A Moment for Mission
"Now, he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath." – Luke 13:10
On Christian Education Sunday we celebrate those who share their gifts of teaching and service within our United Methodist congregations. Some of us had the opportunity to grow up attending Sunday school and Vacation Bible School as children. Whether or not we knew it, people were pouring into us what would become the foundation of our moral and spiritual beliefs and practices. Those of us who are here in church today are likely here because more than half of those who will choose to follow Christ will have done so by the age of 12. The Christian education that is available to children and young people in our churches is what will help them build a foundation for their beliefs and form the kind of faith they will be able to carry for a lifetime.
Others of us had our first experience with Christian education as adults. Whether we are just getting started or we are continuing to grow and mature as disciples, Christian education is a vital part of striving toward a deeper knowledge of scripture and a more intimate relationship with God. When we are participating in Christian education in our churches through Bible study, small groups or book studies, we are able to wrestle with how scripture is calling us to live. These opportunities for growth are possible by those who give their time and talents in teaching.
God of Grace, we thank you for all those who have taught us about you through words and actions along the way. We pray that they would be filled with love and joy and peace in the good work they have done for your kingdom. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Holy God, we rejoice in your loving kindness! You create us in your image with unique gifts, so that we may love and serve you in our distinctive ways. Thank you for guiding us continually as we seek to follow Christ, your Son. Empower our congregation by your Spirit to show and tell your good news of salvation to our neighbors. Use these offerings to bless all whose lives are touched by the ministries of this church. Amen. (Jeremiah 1:4-10)
One Sunday each year we celebrate Christian Education Sunday and recognize those who use their gifts to teach and who encourage us to deepen our faith and courageously put that faith into action. Bruce Lee is credited with saying, "Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do." While he may not have been referring to Christian education, there is an important lesson in these words. In our approach to Christian education in the church, it might be tempting to think knowing the content of the Bible is enough. Yet, as disciples, we know that we must apply scripture to our daily lives. Once we understand how scripture and life intersect, we begin to see that it requires our action. Action on beliefs takes courage. We can find that courage through our participation in Christian education among our communities of faith. When we involve others in our spiritual growth we have the opportunity for support, accountability and the wisdom of sharing life experiences together.