We've all decided that 2020 needs to end. As I smell the smoke of wildfires burning in the distance, the mantra "What next?" comes again to mind. It seems like diminished air quality fits right in with all the other plagues of the year of COVID-19. Yet we choose our own talking points, our own mantras, our own storylines within this drama that is 2020. As fall approaches and teachers return to schoool, what words of hope can we speak to ourselves and our coworkers? Surely Christians can do better than "What next?"
For me, the words "hold fast" are what I need right now. They come from Hebrews 3 and 4, speaking of how a believer must be faithful, holding her confidence in Christ "firm until the end."
Our examples are Moses (Ch. 3 v. 2-5) and Jesus (Ch. 3 v. 1-6), as well as other believers who have come before us and who encourage us in our faith. We need these examples in troubling times. How did Jesus hold fast, "faithful to Him who appointed Him" (3:2)? There is a choice involved, an exercise of the will. We may choose to fall away (3:12), to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (3:13). Or we may choose to hold fast our confession.
If we follow the example of Jesus, who has now entered into rest (4:10), we will also enter into rest when our work is done.
And what is the work? Chapter 3 verse 13 says that part of it is encouraging one another. Not saying to each other, "What next?" but "Hold fast!" For Christian teachers in public schools heading into the 2020/2021 school year, our work may be to make this year the year that we believed. The year that we held onto our faith in Him who appointed us, who called us to this time and this place and this task. Whatever the ministry is that He has called us to, may Fall 2020 be the time when we were faithful despite the chaos that surounded us.
Be encouraged, beloved. Encourage one another to hold fast our confession. Rest is coming soon.