Posted by Jeremy Marsh, Assistant Head of School at 11/23/2016
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
- Psalm 100
I love the verbs in Psalm 100: shout, worship, come, know, enter, give, praise. This Psalm of David commands us through all these wonderful imperative verbs to honor our Lord who made us and sustains us as our good and faithful shepherd. As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, this is a great set of verbs to have in our minds. It is also a great set of verbs for thinking about God’s generational faithfulness to Stillwater Christian School.
Shout. David calls us to shout for joy or make a joyful noise. Think of all the sounds we make and hear throughout the day, all of the noise that attends our existence as 21st Century Americans. What a cacophony of sounds it is! Perhaps we should ask whether the noises we add to that mix are joyful ones or not? I’m thankful that Stillwater is a place so full of joyful, good noises: prayer, singing, greeting, teaching, encouraging, asking, explaining, playing, laughing.
Worship. This Psalm reminds us that we are creatures and God is our creator. Why did he make us? For worship. Our chief end is to glorify him and enjoy him forever. We do this with gladness because, no matter what is going on in our circumstances or society, we can be confident that we worship the Lord God. He is on his throne. I’m thankful for the worship that occurs every day at Stillwater Christian School: not only for our regular practice of worship in chapel, fellowship groups, and daily devotions but also for the many ways our faculty, staff, and students worship their Lord through their efforts as teachers, coaches, students, musicians, and athletes.
Come. Some of us are bearing heavy loads. It’s hard; it’s wearying. But Jesus tells us in Matthew 11 to come to him, all who are weary, for his yoke is easy and burden is light. As we approach the end of 2016, let’s resolve to simply come. And let us do so with joyful songs on our lips. One of the great joys of working at Stillwater is getting to hear the joyful singing of our wonderful choirs and the joyful playing of our great bands.
Know. Our knowledge is rooted in revelation: the general revelation of God’s creation—he made us and we are his—and the special revelation of his word. How thankful I am that the three children I have here at Stillwater are receiving an education rooted in the knowledge of God’s revelation; that all of their learning acknowledges that the Lord is God and we are his people, his sheep.
Enter. Give. Praise. Tomorrow you will likely enter into a home or invite into your own home friends and family to celebrate a unique day on our calendar: Thanksgiving. As you do so, I encourage you to think of entering into the courts of our heavenly Father’s house where he invites us to abide with him. If we are indeed his, then our home is not on this earth but with him in heaven. What a wonderful truth that is. As you consider God’s goodness and steadfast love to our families, children, grandchildren, school, community, and land, may you overflow with thanksgiving and praise this week and always.