Why Church School?
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In Deuteronomy, just before the Israelites are to enter into Canaan, after spending forty years in the wilderness, God gives them very pointed instructions concerning their relationship with Him and their relationships with each other.
It is written (Deuteronomy 6:4-9):
These are the ordinances and the judgments the Lord commanded the children of Israel in the desert, when they came from the land of Egypt: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord. You shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart, from your whole soul, and from your whole power. So, these words I command you today shall be in your heart and in your soul. You shall teach them to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and it shall be immovable before your eyes; and you shall write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
The portion I would like to emphasize from this passage is God commanding us to teach His ordinances to one another and to our children. It is clear as crystal that it is not the duty of one person to teach the love and commandments of God to all. Rather it is each individual’s personal responsibility to be taught and to teach these statutes.
Further, the teaching we must accept and promulgate is ongoing. Throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the month, throughout the year, throughout the lifetime we are to teach and be taught our Greek Orthodox faith and tradition. It is not simply important that we do this, it is commanded so by God.
We must not take the educational opportunities of this parish for granted. We have a two-thousand year history of saints and martyrs, mothers and fathers, grandparents and friends who have given all they had, including their lives, in defense and promulgation of our Greek Orthodox faith.
Do not take these educational opportunities for granted. Register your children for Church School. Register them for Greek School. Ask them, every Sunday, what they learned in Church School. Say prayers with them everyday. Talk to them about the faith. Teach them about the faith. Reinforce what the teachers do in the classrooms. Bring them to church on time. Prepare them to receive the sacraments. Not only will this prepare our children, it will prepare ourselves.
+ Fr. Nick