Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's that time of the Year

Not many of you should become teachers, my sisters and brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what they say, they are a perfect person, able also to bridle the whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.James 3:1-5

The air has cooled, if just temporarily, but the calendar cannot be denied. It is September and in some places children have already gone back to school. Teachers have gone back too. These are such potent times, the season of new beginnings, more to learn and more to teach. Here the children will go back to school the day after Labor Day while many of the teachers have already gone back to set up classrooms and prepare for the children. How tender these last days of summer are. There is a great responsibility in teaching others as we teach not only from the curriculum but by what we say and do every day of our lives. We can make a positive impact on many and we can scare some away from ever wanting to learn or to teach.

This passage from James talks about the profound responsibility of teaching. It speaks to us in this season of radical change when our year truly begins again. We all come in from summer with a desire to enter into the world a new way. This passage also challenges us to consider what we say. Are our words lifting others up? Are we boasting with our lips and failing to serve and compliment others. Each of us teaches by what we say and do, and that is a profound responsibility.

I am glad today that I can face this beautiful morning with the image of a tongue as the rudder of the ship. God has given us such capacity and so much to share with others. I am glad to face this morning knowing that I can contribute positively to others lives. I can greet others with words that I also need to hear - God is with us and we have nothing to fear in this season. May my words bring joy and hope this day. May God truly be in our midst.

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