It was the Sunday before Val and I came north from Portland to candidate for the position of Headmaster at Summit. Our pastor stood up and said he was setting aside the sermon he had prepared that week [something he never did] because it was on his heart to preach from Exodus 3, the passage in which the LORD spoke to Moses from the bush that burned but was not consumed. As you remember, Moses had been in Midian for forty years and was content to stay where he was. However, God had other plans for this reluctant prophet. “Go back and lead my people out of Egypt,” the LORD told Moses. “Here I am,” replied Moses, “send Aaron!” As the sermon unfolded I felt myself getting tense. I knew where our pastor was going with this message and I didn’t like it. While I’m no Moses, I’d been in Midian–I mean Portland–for twenty years and I was content to stay where I was.
The Exodus is archetypal for all of God’s people. Throughout both Old and New Testaments this great event is cited as a metaphor of God’s great work of redemption. As followers of Jesus we are on an exodus, leaving the shadowlands of life apart from Christ and proceeding into His glorious kingdom. Not only is the Exodus a picture of our redemption, but it also serves as a reference point for certain events in our lives—like being a Headmaster. One year ago the LORD made it very clear to Val and me that it was time to head north to Summit. I really didn’t want to hear that message and, like Moses, suggested to the LORD that He find someone else. Well, here we are and the rest is history.
At the risk of overextending the metaphor, education in America has been in bondage to a model that is fundamentally broken. It is based on the premise popularized by Socrates that man would always choose to not sin if only he knew what he was doing the savior and, in the process, becomes an end unto itself. Mix that idea with the dubious premise that education can be “faith-neutral” and you end up with a system that is deeply flawed. I hasten to add that this criticism is in no way leveled at the scores of wonderful and godly people at work in public education, but at the foundations of the system itself. was sin. Therefore, as this reasoning suggests, “if we teach them, then everything will be OK”. In this model education becomes
From day one it has been the conviction of families at Summit that God has something better in store when it comes to school and this conviction is also based on certain premises. First, schools, whether secular or Christian, are only a means and never an end in themselves. Neither does education, whether secular or Christian, ever save anyone. Salvation is the domain of Jesus Christ and no one else. Like the people of Israel in Egypt, we find ourselves on a journey out of bondage and we also find ￼ourselves facing similar circumstances. There is uncertainty out there and we must find our refuge in the Lord. There are obstacles that seem insurmountable and we must find our way and our strength in the Lord. On occasion there is even some grumbling (I hate it when I do that), which must be dealt with in our Lord’s wisdom and grace.
The Lord called Moses and Israel to leave their place of bondage and go to a place where they could draw near to Him. This posed a huge problem to the people–a God-sized problem. The answer, of course, was to follow and obey the Lord Himself. The great Jewish artist, Marc Chagall, clearly understood that the Exodus of Israel was not so much to a place as to a Person; to the living Lord, Jesus Christ, who would offer Himself as the eternal sacrifice for all mankind. In God’s economy an Exodus, whether of a nation or of an educational system, should always result in our drawing near to our Maker.
I was reminded today by my pastor that followers of Jesus continually face God-sized problems (which we too often we shrug off by saying, “that’s impossible!”). However, Jesus told His disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12). I believe with all my heart that what is happening at Summit is one of those “greater works”. A little scary at times? Yes, but we serve the Good Shepherd who watches over His sheep. A little confusing at times? Yes, but we serve the One who calls Himself “the Light of the world,’ showing us the way.
At the bush that burned but was not consumed the Lord introduced Himself to Moses as Yahweh; literally, “I AM” (Ex. 3:1-15; John 8:48-59). All of time is present tense to Him. The Lord is previous to all that we have been—and He still loves us—but the Lord is also subsequent. That means He is present in—and Lord of—those moments we fear that lie in our future (a good reminder for those who lead growing schools). So, He says to us, “don’t worry!” (cf, Matt. 6:25-34).
Because the pace of our lives is so fast and frenetic it is all the more important that we take time to reflect; to take stock of where we have been and where we are going. This past year was very like an exodus event for me; a great year with big challenges and big blessings! As our journey continues together into the coming year we can expect more challenges and great blessing for Summit—and rejoice that we serve a great God who is both our guide and our destination.
Heads-up for the coming week:
- Fourth of July is coming up. Look out for the newsletter that informs Summit families about how they can be involved in the festivities on Snoqualmie Ridge.
- Summit families can order Scrip throughout the summer for rebates to tuition. Please contact Triona Anderson for details (email@example.com). This is a crazy-easy way to add bang to your tuition dollars.
- Be on the lookout for periodic emails regarding upcoming park-dates for Summit families.