Rockbridge Academy Blog
The God of Giving
As I look forward to this last week of school in 2018, I know there will be many expressions of love given and many will take the form of gift giving. I’ve been on the receiving end of many sweet gifts over my 18 Christmases at Rockbridge. Some were huge memory makers for my family. One year, I got an overnight trip with my husband and kids to ICE. Most years, I got gift cards for a new hairdo or “teacher shoes” or dinners out, and Starbucks or Bean Rush cards. I do love my coffee! Favorite gifts are always handmade ornaments that adorn my tree each year still! I love to hang them and reminisce. I would be inconsiderate to ignore the many ways parents give to the school all year long–not just at Christmas, and not just financially. I’ve been the grateful recipient of free babysitting, meals for my once large family, grading, and one of my favorites: a prayer for me each Monday morning for the entire school year written out in their child’s communication book for me to read. This mom had placed a scripture reference and then a prayer about Mrs. Hollidge that demonstrated real care for my well-being spiritually. That meant a great deal to me.
This past week, I saw moms with younger siblings in tow, sitting in the front of classrooms at lunch reading to their child and their classmates so the teacher could do yet another class prep, grade another set of papers, or do a little gift project for you! I see kindergarten parents helping with Race Reading or driving to The Nutcracker, 6th grade parents volunteering to drive to Ford’s Theatre, and 5th grade parents taking a trip with their child’s class to Mount Vernon. The list goes on. Our school is so blessed to have parents who deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Christ, the God of giving.
The Lord Jesus came to give. We often refer to that fact as we give temporal gifts during this season. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you” (John 14:27) is one way Jesus spoke about His giving. His gift was His peace and He teaches us much about Himself in this one sentence. He teaches us that His peace comes from Himself. This peace He gives belongs to Him, and it is His to give away. It also tells us that His peace is different from the gifts the world gives to their children and one another. As the great American preacher and theologian, Jonathan Edwards, tells us in his sermon on this text:
The peace of the Christian infinitely differs from that of the worldling, in that it is unfailing and eternal peace. That peace, which carnal men have in the things of the world, is according to the foundation upon which it is built, of short continuance like the comfort of a dream, 1 John 2:17; 1 Cor. 7:31. These things, the best and most durable of them, are like bubbles on the face of the water. They vanish in a moment, Hos. 10:7. But the foundation of the Christian’s peace is everlasting. It is what no time, no change, can destroy. It will remain when the body dies. It will remain when the mountains depart and the hills shall be removed, and when the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll.
As we traverse this broken world as pilgrims looking for a better country, He goes with us and gives us His peace, a peace that passes human understanding and never changes.
Two thousand years ago, an army from heaven praising God and announcing peace joined the angel announcing Jesus’ birth to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem. Unto you is born this Giving God of Peace, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!