To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected
For the last several years, I have taught a 5th and 6th grade Sunday School class at my church. As anyone who teaches grade school age kids can tell you, it can lead to some interesting discussions, some relevant and many others on wide-ranging tangents. But one thing about teaching stories from the Bible, the subject matter can often touch on some pretty meaningful topics.
In one recent class, for example, we touched on the age-old theological question of why bad things happen to good people. That, in turn, led to a brief discussion of what a crazy and often hard to understand world we live in. After acknowledging the truth of that reality, I decided to seize on the opportunity to remind the class that — relatively speaking — they were incredibly fortunate and blessed compared to many of their peers in other parts of the world. In an effort to drive that point home in terms they could more readily understand, I explained that each one of them had basically won the lottery. Sorry, no Mega Millions, but in most respects an even more valuable prize — families who love and care for them, nice homes and communities to live in, top flight educational resources, safety, freedom, unparalleled opportunity. The list goes on and on. The kids were quiet because, like you and me, they mostly take those kinds of blessings for granted. We don’t typically ask ourselves “Why?” about the good things in our lives.
From there, the discussion naturally segued into how we could make the most of the blessings and gifts we had been given, and the class came up with numerous ideas for ways to give back by helping others. It was truly heartening to hear.
But talking and doing are two different things, which is why I was even more encouraged after editing our feature “Many Joyous Returns” on page 48. The article profiles just a few of the numerous volunteers that are making a difference — both large and small — in our communities. Some have plugged in where there was a particular need, others found ways to contribute by doing things they were good at and/or enjoyed. The common denominator is that they have put their ideals into action and are serving others. Inspired, I’m ready to go back to my Sunday School class and challenge them to take on a service project or two. As several of the volunteers who were profiled in the article were quick to point out, the rewards of helping others can be immeasurable — as much for those who “give” as those who “receive.”
While ‘tis the season for peace and goodwill, it is also a time for celebration. In our Out & About section we offer a wide range of festive holiday events and activities happening throughout the western suburbs. And this year, we have also included a special “getaway” feature (page 42) on the seasonal goings-on in that big city to the east of us.
As always, we hope you enjoy this issue, and thanks for being a reader!Edit Module