Sunday, January 01, 2017

The First Gift Of The Year

Happy New Year! It's also a Sunday which means it's also a weekend. Even though we don't have school tomorrow, only inservice, I still stay on my routines. One habit is that on Sundays, I bring my clothes for my student teacher aide, Jean, to pick out for me during the week; shoes, socks, belts, ties, shirts, pants. This morning, I brought pants, socks, and ties. Tonight, it was shirts. As I entered the building the back way, I was greeted by Jacob, one of my former students whom I have not seen for several years. He was there with his father, Bill, who is one of our long term faculty at WCS in multiple, and I mean multiple, roles. As I was preparing to go up to the second floor to my classroom, I was blessed to meet Jacob's two oldest children. I told them I was their father's Bible teacher. Jacob asked his daughter, "Jaycie, what's the Bible about?" Without hesitation, she answered, "Jesus!" Good answer! Someone has been taught well!

After leaving the shirts in my classroom, I walked out onto the WCS lower school playground where I greeted Jesse, Jacob's brother and another former student of mine who was also in Houston for the holidays. (There is a third brother, Jarrett, ANOTHER former student who I just missed!) I also greeted Hermette, Bill's wonderful wife and the boys' mom as well as Jacob and Jesse's lovely spouses. We caught up as much as you can in a few minutes and I was a little late for evening services. As we reminisced, Jaycie came up to me with a gift. It was an acorn from the oak tree on the playground, the same tree that had dropped acorns when Jaycie's father and uncles were little. As you might guess, I was pretty excited; my first present of the New Year. I can already tell 2017 will be wonderful!

As I left the impromptu gathering to walk into our church building, I passed Jaycie who was playing on the swings. I asked her if she thought I should plant my gift- she said YES! You can't say no to a child, especially a generous one. I'm not sure exactly how I'll do it but I'll come up with something. In a sense, it's already been planted. I'm writing about it and it has made me consider the dawning of a year that's never been. What an act of kindness she bestowed on me this afternoon! How did she know I needed I was out of acorns? The best gifts are often unexpected and this one was. One of the key verses in David Yasko's lesson tonight was from Hoses, chapter 10 and verse 12:
Sow righteousness for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness on you.
Jaycie, the benefactor of an amazing family heritage, helped me put that verse into perspective. You can't sow or reap without seed and now I have a big one. And do you know what made a great evening even better? At the end of our worship, Sue, the wife of Jack, one of our long time members, put Jesus on in baptism. A new birth for a new year! And I've got a brand new acorn!

Applicable quote of the day # 1:
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Applicable quote of the day # 2:
When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with it fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
Thomas Carlyle

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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