08 Apr I Miss Your Kids
There is a recurring theme in the New Testament. Well, to be honest, there are many recurring themes in the entire Bible. However the one I want to reflect on today is the one that you probably caught on to with the title of this. It’s the theme of “I miss you.” A lot of the New Testament consists of letters from saints like Paul and John to churches in different places, or to the Church as a whole.
In many of their books, they begin or end with some formal greeting, some form of, “I miss you.” Let me give you one example.
Romans 1:8–12 – “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
I used to skim these greetings when reading my Bible. They are personal greetings, from Paul (or others) to people that he knew. Now I read these with lenses coloured with a lot more understanding. Why?
Because I miss your kids. I long to see them. I thank God for each of them and the faith that He has given to them. I pray for the ones who don’t know Christ. I pray for all of your kids. I know exactly what Paul means when he says, “that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.” I used to love and look forward to Wednesday nights! This pandemic isolation has made me long for the future, when we can meet again.
I miss trying to distinguish who is Kyle, and who is Owen. I miss getting nervous giggles from Maria whenever I said “Hi”. I miss the fight for the front row. I miss high fives from Ethan. I miss the energy of Shan Shan. I miss the smallest ones calling me “Mr. Giesbrecht”, or something similar. I miss Emily, Gabe, Kaden, Carter, Ashlyn, Zoe, and Josh leading us in worship. I miss Jacob winning random prizes in games. I miss the questions from Micah. I miss the sound of gaga ball (though not so much the smell). I miss Maya walking circles around the halls. (I can’t mention every student, please don’t be offended, I love you all.) I miss the sight and sound of watching over 100 students lift high the Name of Jesus. I miss preaching the Word to students who would answer back to me. I miss praying for your students in person. I miss rejoicing with them when they tell me that they want to be baptized, or that they have just given their life to Christ. Even as I sit here writing, I am thinking – “Will we miss grad night and the Wheel of Dare?”
I. Miss. Your. Kids.
I have been praying, and I hope you have been, too, that I can see your kids again soon. I love them, much like Paul loved the churches he helped plant, because the Lord has allowed me to have some small influence on your students’ lives. So now, I can say, with Paul, “I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
I am genuinely excited to see your students – YOU – so that I can see how this time has made your faith stronger, and we can be encouraged mutually, by the faith that the Lord has given to us.