It is the end of an exhausting and exhilarating half term. We have just made three great appointments for September, after three days of interviewing and two days of visits to schools and watching lessons. 10 staff and 7 governors have been involved in the selection process and we are confident in both the appointments we have made and in our growing identity as a school where people want to come and share in our work.
At the same time, I am hearing good reports daily from the three members of staff who have visited our two partner kindergartens in southern Sweden this week, and it strikes me that the provision we make for one another and our children is showing signs of God’s richness and blessing.
But as a real cause for thanksgiving, we have had the chance to celebrate 10 years of being a school. Last night’s concert was an uproarious celebration of musical talent and then this morning we had a wonderful and moving exploration of past and future from some Year 4 pupils. It was lovely to see them appreciate our heritage enough to suggest putting a bible and a copy of the Lord’s Prayer in a time capsule for the next ten years.
All of this needs to be brought before the King of creation and offered back in thanks – not only because he is worthy of it but because we need, as humans, to locate the source of blessing outside of ourselves and re-position ourselves as not the masters of our fate or the captains of our souls, but as humble servants of God and recipients of overflowing grace. This leads to a greater sanity and reality in our lives, simply because it reflects the reality of the created order and the universe: we are not our own, we were created in the image of God, and for those of us who are Christian, we were bought at a price. This narrative of thanskgiving means we see everything as a gift and as a treasure.
We were designed to give thanks. The longing to give thanks wells up inside of us and for those who have no-one to give thanks to, are pretty much stumped – and the psychological motive force that is meant to emanate in thanksgiving tends to come out in less helpful or even in destructive ways, leading to experiential disconnections.
So whilst my heart is always full of thanks to those who serve so faithfully and fully in school, at root it is just me standing before the giant creator of the universe who deigned to become present to us in his beloved Son Jesus – and giving thanks.