Author: Mrs Janelle Anderson, Principal
Our theme verse from this year emphasises - ‘the most important thing is rooting our lives in Christ’. If we can do this, we can experience the fullness of Christ’s love, and we have the foundation we need to weather all of life's storms in school and beyond.
At our Opening Service this week we celebrated the first major event for our 20th Anniversary year - an incredibly important milestone in the history of our College. We acknowledge though that this has been and is a place of learning and of hope in this Christ-centred community, for today and the years to come. God is doing amazing things in our community right now, and we are so glad that we gathered together today to see and to celebrate God’s continuing work at Faith.
Just a few weeks ago, our student Leadership Team met to consider how 2019 could identify the significance of this Anniversary year as well as the legacy of the class of 2019. As the Leadership Team worked together, the word that God kept putting before them was Foundations. We will examine what it means to be Rooted in Christ. As seen in our Colossians Bible verse:
Colossians 2:7 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Plant your roots in Christ and let Him be the foundation for your life.
Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.
So let’s think about this for a minute. Has anyone ever asked you, what’s most important in your life? At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all given some thought to this question. And I imagine that if we were to go around the room and ask each of you to offer your personal responses, we would actually find that we all have pretty similar answers. If we’re being pious, our list would probably go something like this: Christ, family, work, and so on. But if we’re being honest, our answers might rank in a different order. If our time is a reflection of what is most important in our lives, then the observable answer is probably work. But if our money is the reflection of what is most important in our lives, then it might be shopping, or nice cars, or big homes. The thing is, what we say is most important in our lives, and what is actually most important in our lives might not always line up.
But the simple fact of the matter is; there is only one thing that is truly important in our lives; only one thing that really matters. If that one thing is in place, then all the other pieces will fit together. If that one thing is at the forefront, then we can face everything else. If that one thing is our foundation in Christ, then we can stand firm through all of life’s ups and downs. Now, the fact is, most of us probably have the head knowledge to know what that one thing is, but do we live accordingly?
A friend tells the story of visiting an orange orchard where an irrigation pump had broken down. The season was unusually dry and some of the trees were beginning to die due to lack of water. Much like some of our trees at school. After finishing the tour, the guide took a few of the visitors to his own orchard a short distance away, where irrigation was used sparingly, even in the severest of droughts. As the guide proudly showed off his healthy orange trees, he explained, “These trees could go without rain for another two weeks. You see, when they were young, I frequently withheld water from them. This hardship caused them to send their roots deeper into the soil in search of moisture. Now mine are the deepest-rooted trees in the area. While others are being scorched by the sun, these are finding moisture at a greater depth."
If we were to relate this same scenario to our College we would no doubt have the early College planners, Council members and leaders agreeing that the many challenges and setbacks made our community stronger, more reliant on each other and the wider community. Thus establishing a greater root system and firm foundations that today we can be extremely grateful. Appreciative for all of our facilities, the amazing breadth of learning opportunities and the strategic vision that steers our growth and intentions each year.
Without question, the most important thing that has been consistently guiding Faith is our trust and belief that God had and has a plan for us and this community and that whatever happens we allow our connection to God to guide us based on his grace. This taps us into the living waters of our Lord. When we are rooted in Christ, we receive the nurture we need to grow as Christ’s disciples, and the strength we need to withstand all difficulties.
May our journey through His teachings each term this year further our understanding and appreciation of the blessings we have received and allow us to look forward to the opportunities ahead and enable an abundance of joy and strength to endure the journey into the new horizon.
We thank our Year 12 student leaders for the wonderful imagery that our theme evokes. May they all guide our reflections and our future direction through this insightful plan. Our best wishes to them for their journey through to graduation. May their legacy be remembered as a vital element in the long term future of Faith.
Lord, we ask for the strength, courage, wisdom, determination and stamina to carry out this mission at Faith according to Your will. Guide us, we pray, as we go forth and proclaim Your truth, always doing so with a spirit of love and compassion, as was demonstrated to us through the work of Your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, Amen.
Prayer Written by David Brandao (40 Days for Life)