And…they’re off! Praise God for His faithfulness, love, and kindness to us in allowing us to launch a new school year. What we once took for granted each fall now arrives with new meaning as we recognize with gratitude the immense privilege we have in freely educating our children in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord knows we fall short and fail in many ways, yet He has graciously set us in North Idaho, brought our families together, equipped us with gifted teachers and staff, provided shelter and space to gather (even if it’s a bit tighter than we would prefer), and allowed us freedom to operate without the overreach and restrictions faced by many of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the nation and the world. As in all blessings stemming from the Gospel, these gifts are not owing to our own righteousness, intelligence, strength, virtue, or savvy; instead, they flow freely from the Father of Lights, “with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). This all speaks to His glory, and we are reminded that it is for His name’s sake that we find ourselves called to this glorious calling. These are tremendous reasons to work hard and to rejoice as we settle into our new routines of learning and prepare ourselves for faithful use in God’s work in the world.
Many new families are joining us this year, and I want to extend a heart-felt welcome to them. Each week during the school year, I will do my best to communicate through our newsletter with reflections on the week, observations about the Word and world, thoughts about current events and affairs, and vision for the days ahead. I call this little piece the Headmaster’s Hobbit Hole, a place where the things God has been putting on my heart and mind make their way to your inbox and dinner table conversations. I pray these short notes (or sometimes mini essays) will challenge, inspire, encourage, and reassure you through the ups and downs of the school year. You never know what awaits around the next week’s corner, but you can rest assured that God sovereignly reigns over all in our path, and I hope you will be reminded often that we do not walk this road alone. Through the wonder of relationship with and faith in the Triune God, we can have confidence in our purpose, our future, and our security, no matter what comes our way. CCA belongs to God, not to any one of us; may He be pleased and glorified to use us for His kingdom and glory, and may He make His name known in and through our children for their good and for the good of their children and their children’s children.
In Convocation this week, two of the Scriptures we looked at were Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer) and Luke 22:39-46 (Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane). In the first, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” From the very start, we find that our lives, our purposes, our prayers, and even our wills are not about ourselves. God’s people exist to “Glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” and part of the way we do that is by submitting ourselves to His authority, His timing, and His will, even (and especially) when we don’t know or understand His plans or purposes. With His Word, with His Spirit, and through one another, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4). This is why we educate our kids through the centrality of Christ in a biblical worldview. And, as the Lord’s prayer also reminds us, learning involves submitting ourselves to the will of another. For all we joke about the taxing nature of rules and school (and the countless kids whose favorite subject is recess), it’s true that education challenges our autonomy, our self-will, and our pursuit of our own natural desires. And that’s a good thing. When we can teach our children to love learning, we can succeed if the reason they love it is because they are learning to see that God’s ways and God’s gifts are delightful. Yet it will remain the case that the process of getting to that point will sometimes be painful or difficult. That’s why the second passage we highlighted in Convocation means so much, for our Lord Himself “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8), and in the moment of greatest difficulty, when the lesson was at its most painful and challenging, He said, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42a). Ultimately, that should be the prayer and cry of all of our hearts. Jesus modeled that for us, living out what it means to be a student of the Father, even as He Himself is our greatest Teacher. Learning at CCA is much more than just facts and figures; it is training in discipleship. And that means, incidentally, that both the curricular AND the non-curricular lessons that God sends us all matter. For us, in this season, the space issues, temporary walls, and waiting on permits are as much a part of what He uses to shape us as the geometry proofs, Latin paradigms, grammar chants, and sports practices. Thanks be to God!
Thank you to our tremendous teachers and staff and our wonderful students for a terrific first week. I watched you grow in joy and faithfulness as the week progressed, and you have brought light to these blessed days of early fall! It’s so good to be back! Here’s to a blessed new year at CCA!