Last Sunday, we marked the beginning of the Sunday School year with Celebration Sunday. It is also the unofficial kick off of the fall. With our adjusted calendar because of the sanctuary projects, it corresponded to the actual start of fall this year. In some churches, what we call “Celebration Sunday” is known as Rally Day or Back-to-Church Sunday. All the days, whatever they are called, mark the start or a transition towards one of the livelier seasons in the life of church. They move us beyond the carefree days of summer to a mixture of work, school, church activities, sporting events (football!), and more church activities.
I like the sentiment behind this day. We claim a faith that is timeless. We should practice our faith all the time, but our faith does require nudges from time to time. We need reminders that our faith is ever changing and, hopefully, ever growing. Our practices need to be refreshed. It is good to have a new entry point. There is still more to learn. There are more ways to live that faith out. Celebration Sunday and all the other days that mark this occasion serve as an invitation to a faith that is never stagnant.
One of my greatest joys in ministry is seeing that jump forward happen in real time. Somebody will sit in on a class and begin to engage the material. Before long, they learned something new. Maybe a comment peaks their interest. An idea or scripture takes on a new light. They connect with a bit of history they had not encountered yet. You see a recognition take place that somebody had the same question or struggle. Soon enough, the lightbulbs are coming on. I love teaching for that reason. It is a joy.
As we enter the fall and celebrate a new beginning, I also want to challenge you to reengage that faith. Join a Sunday School class. Make an extra effort to participate in worship. Open your bible and read. (Maybe find it first.) Whatever you may do, take this transition to fall as an opportunity to discover Christ anew.