“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9–10.
Beginning in the second week of August, my school is on the early side of the national spectrum. As I’m writing this, we’re about 2 weeks in and some of the excitement of the new year is starting to wear off. The catching up with fellow teachers and returning students has reverted to the comfortable norm. The new bulletin boards and posters are now just part of the decor. If you have a new schedule or classroom, perhaps you are settling into a groove. It’s not that things are bad. But they are getting familiar. You may be able to operate on a sort of auto-pilot at times. That can certainly be a good thing, but sometimes when the adrenaline wears off a little, when the emails and assignments begin to pile up, and when you check the calendar and realize Thanksgiving break is weeks away, it’s easy to become weary.
Paul encourages the Galatians not to grow weary of doing good. This is a common theme in his letters. This same Greek word, sometimes translated as “lose heart,” is used in Ephesians 3:13, twice in 2 Corinthians 4, and verse 9 of our text is just an expanded version of 2 Thessalonians 3:13. Similar language is even used in Luke 18 to preface Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow. It seems that growing weary or losing heart is a common issue for Christians across time and space.
It’s so easy to grow weary when things are hard or when don’t go the way we anticipate or hope for. Paul uses an agricultural analogy here, pointing ahead to the harvest and reaping in due season. It certainly helps us to forge ahead when we are able to keep the end result in mind. What is the harvest we have to look forward to? Among other things, fruitful fellowship with other believers and growth in body and soul (you may only need one of these, but your students need both!). Some of your students may hear the Good News of Jesus’ love for the first time this year. Some of them may be baptized. Others in our school communities will face difficult times including divorce or other broken relationships, physical or emotional struggles, mental illness, or even death. Even through these things we know that God works good in all things for those who belong to Him (Roman 8). God has given us opportunities to do good to our neighbors in these situations, and to point to Christ in all of them. Let us not grow weary but know that Christ is strong enough to be our refuge in times of trouble. He has given us His Word and even His very body and blood to strengthen us. He is with you today and every day. Amen.
David Pratt, HS Theology Teacher, Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School, Las Vegas, NV