Blessing or Cursing? Let Me Count the Ways!
How many different ways can members of a community affect each other either as a blessing or as a curse? If we were a community of only ten people there would be 3,628,800 different ways that individuals, or different combinations of individuals, could interact with each other. This number is derived by the mathematical formula shown above. Now, consider that we are a school of 60 students, 37 families, 7 board members, 7 faculty and staff, not to mention that we are in relationship with the pastor, staff and church family of VCA. The various numbers of ways we can interact with each other becomes, for all practical purposes, beyond our comprehension. This business of relationship can get very complicated very fast.
But, for the sake of simplicity let’s go back to our ten-person group. If ten people came together with the mutual determination to bring blessing just to that group of ten, they would have 3,628,800 different ways to express that blessing. Obviously, these ten would have the same number of ways to curse either themselves or another group of people, if cursing was their intent. My point: even a group as small as ten people can impact others in a surprisingly large number of ways, either for good or for ill.
We are all inclined to think of ourselves primarily as individuals (a uniquely modern, western and un-Biblical notion), whose choices will impact one, at most several others. The truth is, we are never only individuals. We are always in community and always bear the responsibility of our choices in the relational equation—and that in the lives of many people.
Given this reality—that we always impact [many] people by our choices—what sort of people should we choose to be? This question is extremely important when we consider the health of our growing school family. God gave Abram two commands when He called the Patriarch out of Ur. The first command was “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1). The second command, which is more obscure in our English translations, was “Be a blessing!” (Gen. 12:2b). Be a blessing–imagine that—and not a curse. The last of the six promises that God made to Abram in this covenant was that Abram’s offspring would be a blessing to “all the families of the earth” (a figure slightly larger than our “10”; Gen. 12:3). Later the Apostle Paul would say that all of us who have placed our faith in Jesus are Abram’s offspring (cf. Rom. 4:16); that’s you and me. Here’s the deal: we, you and I, have been given the opportunity to be agents of blessing in fulfillment of a promise God made over 4,000 years ago. Or not…
2,000 years after Abram the Apostle Peter said, “be of one mind” (cf. 1 Pet. 3:8). He wasn’t saying “be of Peter’s mind,” or “be of Tim’s mind”. Rather, be of Christ’s mind who is the Head of the Church. Jesus didn’t come to curse, but to bless. Peter continues, “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, so that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Pet. 3:9). Can it get better than when ten people come together with one mind to be a blessing to others? Yes, when 60 students, 37 families, 7 board members, 7 faculty and staff, the pastor, staff and a church family come together to be a blessing then we cannot begin to count the ways that it gets better. Why would we choose to be anything other than this kind of family?
Heads-up for the coming week:
- Parents of 3rd grade students, please do not schedule outside appointments for your children from April 30–May 3 due to the students’ testing schedule.
- Parents, please submit your re-enrollment contracts ASAP. Deposits and emergency forms are due the end of April.
- Please remember to bring your empty printer cartridges to school. They can be given to teachers, or can be placed directly into the Cartridge World box in the library. This earns money for our school.By all indications the Summit student body will grow by half-again as much next school year. Please continue to PRAY for our school: 1. That our good God will bless us; 2. That God will give the board and administration wisdom and discernment as we wrestle with decisions about facilities and staffing!
Pastor Rick at Valley Christian Assembly (our host church) asked me to pass along the following note. In partnership with Food For The Hungry, Valley Christian will again send a team to the remote village of San Miguel Chamil. Of primary concern is the issue of malnutrition in children. Last Summer the team planted (VCA purchased) 1200 fruit trees.
This year the project consists of purchasing and installing simple cooking stoves. This will alleviate the health issues that arise from open-fire cooking in their homes. Here is how you can help:
- Purchase Papa Murphy’s discount cards from Debbie in the office ($5)
- Attend Dinner/Auction May 5, 6:00 pm (see flyer appended to this email)
- Donate used children’s clothing