Tensions were a bit higher than normal this past Wednesday and Thursday, as our students took their first semester exams. As the parent of a seventh grader, who was experiencing her first ever upper school exam, I found myself thinking about how “set apart” these assessments are from others they have throughout the year. While the weight generally isn’t any higher than their average test, students still easily recognize that there’s a difference between this assessment and all the others they’ve had throughout the year.
For starters, there’s a cover page to an exam, so it looks a little different. On top of that, we are intentional about preparing for the exam by having half-days especially for studying and by spending the days leading up to exams reviewing. And finally, when it’s all over, we celebrate! Today was filled with gift-giving, singing, gingerbread house competitions and sock-hockey; while we all relaxed and enjoyed fellowship with one another.
The Christmas season should be set apart in a similar way. It should look a little different from the other months of the year, as we acknowledge the birth of Christ. We should be intentional about preparing for the day as we contemplate the incredible gift that was given to us so long ago. And finally, we should remember to celebrate all that God has done in our lives through that little baby boy!
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”
That’s something worth celebrating.
If you’re looking for a resource to help you set this season apart this year, I highly recommend this devotional. One thing that’s great about it (besides providing us with a selection of classic devotions from Augustine to Martin Luther to Charles Spurgeon), is that each devotion stands alone, meaning it’s never too late to start. Regardless of the resource (and there are plenty out there), I hope you find time during this break to set this time apart and reflect on the greatest gift of all.