For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
It’s the time of year for college and high school graduations and end-of-school-year celebrations. As the beginning of summer draws near, we want to both congratulate our students and give thanks to parents, teachers, student ministry leaders, and all who have served them.
It’s also a time when teenagers are in distress. In an article entitled “Why American Teens are So Sad,” Derek Thompson recently wrote in the Atlantic.
From 2009 to 2021, the share of American high-school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent. This is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded. Almost every measure of mental health is getting worse, for every teenage demographic, and it’s happening all across the country.
The need for vital (urgently needed; absolutely necessary, full of energy and life) families has never been greater and so we want to say thank you to all churches who have partnered with schools this year to strengthen families. There is no greater way to help teens and to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to our community.
It’s almost Mother’s Day, a time set aside on the calendar to honor our mothers. A few days ago on June 28, my wife Carolyn’s sweet mom, Norma Jean Carter, at age 94, finished the work God had given her in this life and entered the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Beginning at age 18 in a one-room country schoolhouse, she taught elementary grades for 38 years. In addition to the hundreds of children she loved through her education career, her greatest legacy is her family. She and her husband Don Carter gave their two children, five grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren a heritage of 68 years of faithful marriage and a proven faith in Jesus Christ.
As we grieve, we grieve with great hope. Hope in the resurrection and hope that Jesus our sovereign King is uniting His church to pray and to encourage vital families who show glimpses of restoration in this life. It’s time to pray!