Contributing Author: Mr. Kyle Maestri, Headmaster
There is a lot happening in our world today. We have had a very contentious election season with riots, protests, conspiracies, court challenges, legislative hearings, and many accusations of corruption. Many of us feel that our nation is taking a giant leap away from the intended vision of our founding fathers. The pandemic has revealed the way many of our leaders think and have created significant conversations about freedom and safety. The media and large tech corporations are also increasingly revealing their worldview in recent days. All of this can lead us to wonder what the future holds at best and cause us to fear at worst. So, how do we respond to these things? What do we tell our children who may even wonder if we are in the last days?
First, I think it is valid and good to acknowledge that for American followers of Jesus, there are many challenges in living out our faith, some of them new for us, some of them more pronounced than ever, and some of them not so new. These difficulties and changes cause us to mourn for our beloved country, but we do not despair because we have rightly ordered loves. In other words, it makes sense to be sad at the state of affairs in our nation, for as patriots we do love our country. However, we are not devastated because what occurs in our nation is not our deepest concern. It is important and we ought to continue to engage culturally perhaps now more than ever. But it is not primary in the order of our loves. Christ and His Kingdom occupy that place in our hearts. He is our true north, and His Kingdom is what we are calibrated to in order to determine the state of things. He has risen, and therefore we do not lose hope. As the old song says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Even better, as Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots, some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
It seems that many of us, myself included, have been challenged to discern in recent days whether this easily said but hard to live out statement is true. Do we truly trust in the Lord more than anything? Do we trust in the Lord more than our government, more than the Constitution, more than the law of the land, more than our ability to have a decent income, more than doctors or vaccines? Do we truly trust in Christ above all?
Second, experiencing difficulties and even persecution is the “normal” Christian life for the church throughout history. Jesus promised us that we would have trouble in this world and that if they hate us, it is because they hated Him first. This is not to despair or discourage, but I am convinced that it is vital for the survival of our children’s faith that this is a part of their biblical worldview. Their view of God, and ours for that matter, must be big enough and Christianity “thick enough” to see God as sustaining His people through times of suffering and difficulty. For most of us, this has not been a part of our experience in a comfortable America. Hopefully, by connecting our children with the biblical story and the history of the church as we do through classical Christian education, they can be encouraged by the faithful testimonies of the saints and martyrs who have gone before us, which can inspire all of us to be faithful in the times in which we live, come what may.
Finally, we do not know what the immediate future holds, but we do know the end of the story. Jesus reigns supreme, and we are with Him as His bride! But, what about tomorrow, or next week or next year? How should we live? It is true that we don’t know what day it is on God’s calendar. It could be the beginning of a spiritual revival in our nation or even a cultural reformation. It could also be the end of America as we know it or even the end of days. But, just like our brothers and sisters throughout history and around the world, we are called to walk by faith, not by sight. We are called to repent of our sins, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves. We are called to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that He has commanded. We are called to be the light of the world and be set apart just He is set apart. We are called to join with the heavens in declaring the glory of God. No matter what day it is on the heavenly calendar, our calling is the same. We are to be faithful to God and teach our children and grandchildren to do the same. By God’s grace, may we be found in daily faithfulness when Jesus returns. In the meantime, may we join together as a community of prayerful love, take our children by the hand, and recite what Joshua said together, “Choose this day whom you will serve...as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”