Gut check time. I’m wiped…I was told I’m supposed to be authentic and honest…. So here it goes:

I was supposed to go to Whistler during our past long weekend. It’s been a long road from early August when preparations for this school year began. But Whistler was coming! It’s an annual trip my wife and I make with some friends. It’s a chance to reconnect with each other and recharge after a busy start to the school year.

Then came the round of health orders asking us not to travel outside of the Fraser Health region…trip cancelled! But no time to waste; get your game face on! It was closing night for the auction! Fear not—the long weekend is coming, just a lot more local. Right?

Last weekend didn’t turn out quite the way I planned. It was the furthest thing possible from a long weekend getaway to Whistler. The global pandemic made itself known in a very real way in our community. I spent way more time with Julius, Karin, and Tym than I ever planned to on any weekend.

I’m not complaining…okay maybe I am…but trust me; this is all a picture of biblical relational flourishing.

Stay with me here….

We Need Relationship

When our secondary staff came back to school on Tuesday, I shared a video by Rod J. K. Wilson. He talked about relational flourishing. He shared about how from Genesis we were created to be in relationship with each other. Perhaps this is no truer than right now. Biblical relationship is sacrificial.

He referenced the apostle Paul:

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

Rod quoted Jesus from John’s gospel:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 

We live in a community that lives out what Rod would call biblical love: Biblical love is sacrificial, hard work, and it’s other-orientated.”

Some examples of biblical love I’ve experienced lately are:

  • The auction breakfast—what a pleasant surprise. Thank you, Dani & Trent deJong and Gary Riemer!
  • The sacrifice of Tym, Julius, and Karin as they tirelessly stressed, debated, and considered what to do and what to share. They sacrifice so much for our community.
  • An encouraging note and token of thanks (you know who you are).
  • A record-breaking auction.
  • The love and support of my wife and kids who gave me the space I needed to serve our collective community during the past long weekend.
  • Community nurses from Fraser Health who pull over on the side of the road in the dark on their way home from a very long and thankless day to meet with our leadership team and provide us with guidance and reassurance.
  • A text message from a dear friend who told me I was in his daily morning prayers.

We Need Community

I’m wiped. Exhaustion, fear, mistrust, criticism, doubt, stress, and anxiety are all real things I’ve dealt with lately.

The COVID-19 exposure in our community can be scary. I feel much of what many of you are feeling (my daughter is at the middle school; my mom is an EA at the middle school…I won’t call her elderly though 😊). It’s easy to let fear, anxiety, and concerns (all of which are valid) get in the way of the biblical love that we need to show each other during this time. We were made for community and our ACS community must play a large role in our lives this year!

I missed my much-needed trip to Whistler. I’m still tired. But those examples of sacrifice, hard work, and otherness from above give me the strength to carry on from one day to the next.

Prayer, Encouragement, and Love

I leave you with one question: How can we show real biblical love to each other that as Rod says, requires work, energy, effort, and sacrifice for the other?

How about:

  • Commit to praying for each of your child’s classmates and their families. We all need prayer right now!
  • Write a note of encouragement to an ACS staff member, a church leader, or a health care worker. They have the same concerns you do, have the same worries, and are working tirelessly to support our families.
  • Take time to set aside your anxieties and pray for those families who are walking the journey of recovery from COVID and the long, stressful time of isolation.

What other ways can we, as a community built on biblical relational flourishing, show love that is sacrificial, hard work, and other-orientated?