In a short four and a half weeks, our country journeys from being thankful to asking for special gifts to be under the tree. For Thanksgiving we gather with friends and family around a decorated and overflowing table to thank God the Father for His bountiful provisions and gifts. Almost immediately following our turkey feast and some football on television, many Americans will wake up at a strange and dark hour to take advantage of the sales of black Friday. Commercials and print ads for the four weeks between these two significant holidays will bombard us with messages about what we need, what we deserve, and what we cannot live without in 2012.
I am constantly worried about the messages I send my children, and in a wider scope, the students at Charlotte Christian. Collectively, we are so blessed materially with what we own; we are blessed with the opportunities presented to us in travel and experience; we are blessed educationally to be a part of a Christian school; and we are blessed to live in a country that values freedom. Living in the United States, our students are growing up as being among the wealthiest 1 percent to ever walk the earth. With this comes much responsibility but I wonder if we are passing along the right messages to our children. I know that popular culture as perpetuated by the media is not.
In Luke’s gospel chapter 14, verses 7 to 14, Jesus tells the parable of the wedding feast. In this story Jesus tells of people who were invited to a wedding feast and came into the banquet hall and chose the best seats or the seats of honor, probably those closest to the bridal party. Jesus told his listeners that their strategy is flawed for if you choose the best seat but someone more important comes in the door then the host will be forced to remove you and thus embarrass you in front of those gathered. Jesus said the better plan is to take the lowliest place, the back row, and wait for the host to move you up and thus honor your presence. My concern is that we have so much and are told how much more we deserve that when we walk into any proverbial feast we assume we should be at the place of honor.
I almost wish the holidays were switched in the order that we celebrate. If we had Christmas first and then the media blitz following Christmas was four and a half weeks preparing us for Thanksgiving - would we spend more time in the holidays focusing on what we have rather than what we do not have or what we think we deserve?
Jesus ends the parable of the wedding feast with these words, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Our prayer as a school is that we are able to instill in our immensely blessed and gifted students a sense of humility. We will try to use the holidays as anchors of this lesson, thankful to God for all that we have and recognition that Jesus, who truly had everything, gave it up to humble himself and serve others, us included.
Head of School
Monday November, 21, 2011 at 12:32PM