One of my favorite first day of school traditions at Covenant is our Kindergarten Tea. Just after they have said good-bye to their little ones, Covenant parents of older students host a tea, inviting them to a new school year and a new community. It’s an emotional time and it’s a privilege to share that moment together. As we gather around the beautifully set table filled with teacups, lace and pretty plates, parents offer words of encouragement to one another. This year we reflected on Psalm 23 and the ways in which God’s parental love is evident as a model for us:
- “He leads us in paths of righteousness,” just as we are seeking to do for our children.
- “He makes us lie down,” even when we don’t want to take a nap.
- “He restores our souls” after a long day.
- “He prepares a table for us” because we hunger and thirst.
He prepares a table.
Ever ponder that when you are rushing to get dinner for the family? God prepares a table for us. He doesn’t just grab dinner and go, He prepares a table because He wants us to sit and talk and eat and absorb His good gifts. When God led His people out of Israel, out of slavery, He prepared the Passover table for them. When Jesus explained that He was the Passover Lamb, it was at the Passover table. Tables are at the heart of building relationships. Christians celebrate The Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Table to reflect on His presence in our daily lives. When gathered around a table, we share a dependence on food to sustain us. The table is a conduit to a culture that strengthens relationships. It’s a simple but profound truth; we were made, body and soul to be in community.
The culture that we create as we absorb God’s good gifts, the way we interact with one another, the way we sit together are all instructive. God reminds us of the power of teaching our children as we go about our lives. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up." (Deut. 6:7, NASB) We’re always teaching something (even if we aren’t doing anything).
This is why we are intentional about every aspect of our school culture. We want our daily habits to lead our students in paths of righteousness so that they can be effective followers of Christ. We encourage our students to connect with each other and build the community around them. Ten minutes of House Service Time at the beginning of lunch each day gives the Upper School students an opportunity to develop as leaders as they serve younger students. I’ve been so blessed to watch the older students swoop in and help little ones open the myriad of containers that need opening or, better yet, stooping down to ask them about their day.
In a culture where teenagers are expected to be self-centered and inattentive to others, it’s a joy to see our students defy low expectations and lead by serving. If you happen to join us for lunch sometime, we hope you feel welcome... because He prepares a table for us.
Posted on Sun, September 18, 2016
by Laurie Brooks filed under