Last Sunday our church honored those brave, hardy souls that came week after week to teach squirrelly children about the love of Jesus in Sunday school. These are people who intentionally chose to not sleep in on Sunday mornings for a good nine months. They volunteered knowing that antsy little boys and chatty little girls would ask unbelievably hard questions about God and life and the universe. Some of our teachers who serve week after week also have been faithful year after year. If there was a Sunday School Teacher Hall of Fame, I would have several inductees.
Being a Sunday school teacher can be daunting and thankless. So, at the close of the school year, we sing the praises of these unsung heroes.
After applauding the sacrifice and dedication of these wonderful people, the congregation settled in for PB’s sermon. He was preaching on Hebrews 11 – the great “Faith Hall of Fame” chapter. The writer names several giants of the faith like Abraham and Moses, but ends the chapter with many unnamed saints who “faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned, they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.”
That jarring statement suddenly made teaching Sunday school look pretty tame.
So far, not one of our teachers has been sawed in two.
What we call “sacrifice”, the saints of old might have called “privilege”, “opportunity to serve”, or even “joy”. Until I am chained and put in prison, maybe I better rethink the use of the word “sacrifice”.