At the beginning of the new school year, my most challenging classes were 6th grade. For one, they are HUGE classes and there's barely enough room for them all. Secondly, they're just difficult. Like, pull my hair out, scream into a pillow difficult. BUT the tables turned a few weeks ago when we took a break from Christmas music and I played "Say Something" by A Great Big World while we sang it together. All of a sudden I had their attention like never before. Why? Because I showed them I cared enough to connect with their current culture. It made me think of church and why it is so important to do the same… Wearing jeans, having an upbeat band, serving coffee and donuts, etc. shows guests that we are right there with them… that church is not about tradition or dressing nice or organs (though none of those things are bad in themselves), but that it's about reaching people where they are and leading them to the gospel of Christ and the community of God. I am so thankful to be a part of a ministry that does this so well. And I'm very thankful to be in a different place with my sixth graders than I was in August. Today in fact, we were singing through "Let There Be Peace on Earth," one of their songs for our upcoming Christmas program, and I thought I might cry at the end of it. They were realllly singing. And this precious boy - one of the biggest guys in the class is singing a solo... "..With God as our father, brothers all are we. Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony." Goodness... they might have just yet found their way to my heart.
On a completely unrelated note, it is currently twenty-five degrees outside. Considering it was about seventy degrees a few days ago, it's a bit of a shock to the system. The last couple days I've been waiting a few extra seconds before walking in the door of my house so that I can feel the cold for longer and think about how it must feel for those who don't have the warmth of a home to go to. I'm so thankful for our home. It's small and there are plenty of things about it that I'd love to change, but it's beautiful. I mean, really, sitting here in the glow of our Christmas tree... It's a warm, beautiful home. I'm really just writing this for me... So that perhaps the next time I'm feeling sorry for myself because we only have one bathroom, I might run across this post and remember that I am warm, safe, and thankful.