Kids need school. They don’t get to choose whether to wake up to choose whether to wake up or make up work when they feel up to it. We know it’s good for them; we make them go.

Grownups understand (or should) how intellectual, moral and social formation is tied to education. We want our kids to know history, so they make history (or at least be on the right side of it). We want them to gain knowledge and skills, so they may provide for themselves and get off our payroll some day. We want them to gain knowledge and skills, so they may provide for themselves and get off our payroll some day. We want them to deal with different and difficult people before they are on their own, so they may become socially adept.

Schools can do all that and more. Therefore, no sleeping in, no skipping out, no skating by – go, study, learn, grow.

While we’re on education, consider the odd reasoning about spiritual education that shows up in lack of or erratic attendance at houses of worship that are schools of the spirit. We treat Spirituality 101 as if it’s an elective rather than core curriculum.

What of the spiritual life? Spiritual formation is not even a subject comparable to math or science or reading. It is the integrative center of all existence. It ties all things together in a way that makes meaning of even math and science and reading. It involves issues of origin and destiny, identity and purpose, meaning and mission. Mature human beings must have a spiritual center around which life may revolve or else all else will be fragments floating free.

So when the kids go back to school, will you be sure they go to church too? With you? Whether they like it or not? Whether they see the point yet or no?

Begin the new school year with regular attendance and rigorous commitment to worship, prayer and study. You can’t expect to pass the final exam if you only show up at now and then or study only when you feel like it.

Who wants to just pass anyway? Don’t we all want the thrill of making Straight A’s?


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