Do you remember making construction paper link chains to decorate elementary school classroom? The chains would be draped around the room. But sometimes, in the mornings, a chain would be hanging to the floor because one link had come unglued. A quick repair would have the link chain back to its expansive length again.
I’m reminded of those paper link chains in the theme passage I have chosen for this year.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people, who will also be qualified to teach others. … Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15 NET)
As Paul realizes his time in ministry is short, he encourages Timothy to continue faithfully in what he has learned from Paul. But the message of Scripture must not end with Timothy! Paul exhorts Timothy to teacher others who then will teach those who follow after him.
Paul’s encouragement to Timothy reminds me of these link chains. Each follower of Christ has a responsibility to learn and then to teach others. This is the only way the truths of Scripture pass from generation to generation. We are part of link chains connecting us back to that small group of apostles who followed Jesus Christ.
Just as importantly, Paul cautions Timothy to accurately handle the truths of Scripture. The phrase “correctly handles” literally means to cut straight like a seamstress cuts fabric straight on the grain or a farmer plants a straight row.
Teachers of God’s Word must not twist it to fit their worldview, but strive to present the Word as God originally meant. Not an easy task thousands of years later in an entirely different culture, but a vitally important task.
So, as this new academic year begins at Calvary I hope you can see yourself in that link chain of teaching God’s Word from one generation to the next. I pray that no matter what your area of study, whether Education, Bible & Theology, or Theatre, you become a student of the Word who correctly handles its truth.