August is upon us - which means it’s "back to school" time. Now whether you’re excited for this time of year or dreading it doesn’t matter. Whether you’re actually in school or your school days lie far in the past doesn’t matter. What matters is that this time has been turned into one of the sharpest divisions in our year. The change is as palpable as the seasons, it’s as abrupt as the day after Christmas. “Back to school” is a phrase everyone readily understands because it's so indelibly marked on us. It’s part of how our culture now marks the passing of time.
To this day I get wistful when I listen to “A Summer Song” and think of my first dorm room at Prep.
And the change can be difficult. For kids it means saying goodbye to the freedom and promise of summer afternoons in the backyard. For adults it means saying hello to the freedom and promise of not having kids in the house all day. For everyone it means sports start up, shopping needs to be done, schedules need to be adjusted. Even the Holidays seem like they are starting to peek into view.
So we fire up our grills and plan one more weekend of fun to tenaciously hold on to whatever Summer we have left (which is why Labor Day was invented in the first place). But it doesn’t work. The change comes.
But God does not mark the passing of time like that. Instead, he marks the passing of days through his love for you. He notes the changing of the seasons by reaffirming his grace for you. He sees the "back to school" season as just another opportunity to embrace you in his righteousness and mercy. And all of these things he continues to hold out to you in his Word. Though days pass and things change for us, He does not.
So it’s "back to school" time. The year goes on, things change. But God’s love for you does not. It never will.
Pastor Joshua Zarling
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