"Ponderings from the Pastor"
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! As I have asked of you every year since arriving here at Stockton Memorial Baptist Church, during the month of September PLEASE be aware of the children as they return to school. This is one of the most dangerous times for children statistically, so please be extra cautious when you are driving over the next couple of weeks, especially in neighborhoods and school zones. There have already been several school bus incidents in outlying counties where the children have begun to return to school. With our proximity to Crenshaw Elementary, Bailey Bridge Middle, and Manchester High schools, it is imperative that we all use extra caution during the morning “rush time” and then again after school.
As Summer ends and a new school year begins, I am asking all of you to please say some extra prayers for the children, the bus drivers, the teachers, staff, and administration at all of our schools. I am also reminded at this time of year of the saying “with every end, comes a new beginning.” Interestingly enough that saying is attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Roman philosopher who lived at a time when a new beginning was definitely coming in our world. Seneca was born in 4 BC and died in 65 AD., BC and AD being the most definitive “break” in human history to date. The exact quote is, “Every new beginning comes from other beginnings end.” Life is filled with ends and beginnings… some are welcome, others mourned. As human beings, we have this deep inner desire to keep our lives full; full of family and friends, full of challenges and successes, full of enjoyable experiences. If we are alert and attentive, we can look back on our lives and see where one end took us to a new beginning. For children each new school year is like that.
For many of us adults, our ends/beginnings are even more extreme. We pass from having a house filled with children to being “empty nesters”. We go from the hectic schedule of working our jobs to the (sometimes!) relaxed and laid-back life of retirement. Some of these transitions will prove to be more difficult than others, but it is important to remember that when one phase of our life ends, we can look forward to a new beginning. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “the one constant in life is change”. With that in mind, I have selected for our Life Verse for the month of September, these words from the Apostle Paul’s writings to the early Church in Philippi: “…being confident of this, that He who began a new work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) May you have many blessed new beginnings!
It’s worth pondering,