KLOVE’s popular infomercial for national “Bring Your Bible to School Day” bothers me.
I cringe to hear the Newsboys say: did you know that students have been told not to bring their bibles to school? Did I miss the memo? Is that a new mandate? Why, just last week, one of my seniors set a study bible on her desk. The beautifully highlighted passages and post-it notes caught my eye. I know she’s not the only one toting scripture to school.
The infomercial might irk me less if the Newsboys said: some schools don’t allow students to bring their bibles to school. Unless I’ve surrounded myself with lawbreakers, many schools allow religious texts, discussion, and even prayer.
Perhaps one day I’ll have the courage – and the words – to write about the funeral I attended this summer. It was a Muslim funeral for a freshman in my school community. His accidental drowning brought us together that August morning, and by noon, our grief and outrage bound us even closer. Against the wishes of the mother, the Christian faith was lambasted in the midst of mourners. Christ was blasphemed as a high school football team wept for their lost teammate. Outrage pumped through my veins and made me dizzy. I wasn’t the only one to walk out of that funeral home.
Only the pallbearers remained at the premature close of the funeral.
The school gym is where we gathered for the reception. A large crowd had gathered to fellowship and celebrate life. A woman announced that soon we would eat, but first we must pray. It was not the canned prayer prayed at Texas football games or other school events. It was not hesitant, timid, or apologetic. She prayed from the heart in Jesus’ name. The “amen” resounded with power and confidence.
In that moment, pride for my new school and pride for my God swelled in my heart. Evil sought to destroy our community that day, but the power of Christ and his believers drove it out.
Evil seeks daily to destroy our communities and our youth. Some schools really do outlaw the bringing of bibles or the saying of prayers. In a tolerant nation, Christian students face more intolerance than ever before. Not to mention the daily pressures of worldly peers. The world of social media can be ugly turf for the high school student. The majority of my students welcome LGBT culture, among other progressive issues. I’ve lately sensed a more anti-religious mentality.
Yet, many of my Christian students share their faith in quiet, strong ways. Several of my seniors provide background information when Scripture is alluded to in literature. Just last week, a few of my sophomores made visual arguments for pro-life, traditional marriage, and the Church. They are not afraid. Nor are they offensive. They’re just who they are: passionate Christian students in a brutal world. They inspire me to live out my faith, even in the classroom. And they inspire me to pray for them.
Please pray for our Christian students. Theirs is a rough and tumble daily mission field. On October 8, many will bring their bibles to school to celebrate religious freedom in America. But many bring their bibles to the battlefield each day. Our prayers and encouragement mean the world to them.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that you have overcome the world. We pray especially for our Christian students on national “Bring Your Bible to School Day” and everyday. We ask You to protect and strengthen our young brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ name, Amen.