September 10/11, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk:Pastor Alex Poon

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Growing up, I always had to remind myself that the “new year” didn’t start in September, it starts in January… but it just feels like the Fall holds much more significance.

Because September brings news backpacks, new pencils, new notebooks… new teachers, new schedules, new friends, and potentially even new schools.

The launch of a new academic year is an intimidating process – for both students and their families. The countdown begins in mid-August, as students make the realization that school is just around the corner. It’s a mental battle at that point – preparing for all the adjustments that will come. Then the big day finally arrives. New hallways are wandered, new classrooms are soaked in, new syllabi are handed out – and at some point, or another on that first day – students feel either a rush of excitement… or they make a wish that time would somehow rewind back to the summer. Do you remember that feeling? I imagine that’s what a lot of our students faced this week as classes began.

For us who have left this stage of life behind; how can we lift up our students in prayer?

Here are a couple suggestions:

  1. Gospel Joy

We need the joy of the Gospel every day. Pray this for all you know.

We need continual assurance that our sins are forgiven because of Christ, that our God is for us and not against us, that we are destined not for wrath but for everlasting joy – all because of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Pray for belief and faith.

Our Living God is with us in every new moment, we are in His presence – and our relationship with Him even gives us a purpose in vocation, a hope for today’s trials, and a heart of thanksgiving that renews each morning.

  1. Sacrificial Love

At some point or another, our students will come across a situation where they will be asked to lay down their desires – to love on another. Love will require sacrifice, time, effort – even inconvenience.

Will our students notice the peer who is struggling? Will they say the “unpopular” thing and stand up for someone who is neglected, cast away and dejected?

Will our students love God, even with their schedules?

Will families prioritize Christ, over a pursuit of achievements?

We need a fresh reminder that it is God who schedules our day. “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that”. For our “lives are like a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:13-17).

Let’s keep our eyes fixed on our God who sends us into these places of training and equipping. It is He who helps us marvel at His creation through tools and technology, through formulas and pondering thoughts. And by His wonderful grace, He leads us into a vocational path that honors Him, with all the abilities He gifts. And by His side, abiding in His will – we will find our satisfaction in yesterday’s work, our contentment for today and a joy for tomorrow’s new adventures.

Join us in prayer:

Our Lord God, we surrender our students to you. They are beautiful and a delight in your eyes. Each of them is special, unique, and wonderfully made. Our students will face trials each day – may their “soul cling to you, may your right hand uphold” them (Psalm 63:8). May this academic year be glorifying to you – we long for stories of students turning to you in wonder, students finding their purposes in you, and families adoring you as one. Let us, your Church, love our students well – in discipleship, and through prayer. This we pray in your precious name, Amen.

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Alex Poon