Posted by George Morrison

Back to School                 Word on the Week                     9th September 2023.

Here comes the sun – schools must have resumed!    What cruel fate has decreed that the resumption of schools and colleges would be marked by gloriously sunny weather!    It does not always occur – it just seems like it does!

School or college was once the place where life skills were taught, identities formed and eventually a world view gets constructed.   Among the many views in circulation today the Christian view is seldom present.   JB Philips saw this coming many years ago and in his Bible translation of Romans 12 verse 2 coined “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.”

The text comes after the most thorough working out of the Gospel in the previous 11 chapters of Romans.   The Apostle recognised from personal experience that the danger of silencing Christian witness was very real.

Isaiah put the Christian witness so well in Chapter 43 verse 1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.”    He is our creator, He formed us in the womb.   He is also our redeemer who saved us and gave us an identity as his sons and daughters.

Each of these aspects of the Christian faith is under attack in our contemporary Western World.   The chances are that the attack will start at school and certainly be present at college.   When it comes to the work scene the breakdown of morality is being fuelled by many things including the misuse of the smartphone which produces its own porn addicts.

It is into this culture that we are called to operate.   Some of us have found it hard and ceased from the work of witnessing for Christ.   All of us find it difficult to start a Christian conversation.    This world has never been a friend to the grace of God.

To assist at witnessing Andy Bannister has written ‘How to Talk about Jesus without Looking Like an Idiot: A Panic-Free Guide to Having Natural Conversations about Your Faith.’    Andy writes from a background of much experience.

The writer of Hebrews has a heavenly perspective.  Having quoted from the past sees the hero’s as encouraging us in the present to follow their lead (Hebrews 12 verses 1 to 3).