I didn’t really enjoy school, but one thing I did get excited about at the beginning of each new year was the prospect of a nice clean exercise book. I always pledged to keep it neat and tidy and use my bestest handwriting. It was a chance to make a new beginning. Study harder, get better results and all in all be an ace student! Of course by week two, my new book was as scruffy as my old one and I had slipped back into my old routine of scrawly handwriting, and homework done at the last minute!
A lot of school work is done on computer now but a new school year still affords us the opportunity to start again. To renew our commitment to one another and to God. To give our best, in our studies, our friendships and our prayers. It gives us a chance to begin again. To renew our determination not just to think about ourselves but about the wider world. To help organisations like the Children’s Society and Marys Meals in their endeavours to offer every child the opportunity to be nourished, to be safe and to learn. To bring every child hope that their circumstances can change. That they aren’t forgotten.
Making a new beginning isn’t just about trying harder, or even working harder. God wants us to have fun as well. Yes even at school! God wants to bless us through our friends, to refresh us through Scripture and to renew us as we take time out from studying to enjoy the things that excite us. It’s hard not to get ground down by daily life. It’s hard to keep the sense of anticipation a new school year can bring. Tiredness creeps in. Anxiety hovers over our work and the prospect of exams hangs in the air. For many in our world just finding enough food or enough clean water let alone a clean uniform will be a struggle that takes all their energy and all their strength.
So how can they and we refresh our sense of purpose each day and feel upheld by God?
Jesus knew about busyness. Healing, and teaching about the Kingdom, he got exhausted So early in the mornings he would find a quiet spot and pray. Amidst all the rush he knew he needed to step aside to recharge his batteries, and renew his relationship with his Heavenly Father.
Maybe as a new school year gets under way, we could follow Jesus’ example. Perhaps we could make a moment each day to say our family prayer and ask Jesus to help us through the day We could hold in our hearts all who are suffering, especially children in places of war and poverty. Those who won’t be able to go to school and those who find school frightening and difficult.
As we say the Lord’s Prayer with others or on our own, may we all know God’s refreshing Spirit in our lives and be renewed day by day as we begin again
Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever