A Word from Amanda McAlpine

One of the things my family has enjoyed during the last few weeks of lockdown is watching the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Without the need to be up super early in the mornings, we have been able to follow the Australian men’s and women’s football (soccer) journeys. We’ve had some late nights, as we watched them play their hearts out and strive to win their games and get closer to the prize – an Olympic medal. We know that neither team managed to get that far but I am sure they learnt many lessons along the way, improving their skills and showing the world their sportsmanship and determination. The Matildas were so close to getting a bronze medal, yet it wasn’t meant to be, and they now have to show the world how they handle themselves after the disappointment and heartbreak they felt.

We often talk at school about being WHOKstars, which means being wise, happy, obedient and kind. These are all things that we are called to do by Jesus. They all relate to loving God and loving others.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

John 13:34-35

There have been amazing highs and lows throughout the Olympics. The most loving and heartwarming moments come from vulnerability and selflessness in a highly competitive environment where everyone should be looking out for their own best interest. These are what us Kuyperians would call WHOKstar moments; when two 800 metre track runners fell over, then walked arm in arm to support each other and  finish the race together; when the 10,000 metre Aussie runner fell not once but twice, and got up and struggled to the end; when competitors in the men’s high jump decided they were both happy to tie for gold, rather than have a jump off; and the many celebrations when athletes were genuinely happy for their fellow competitors to win gold, even though it meant they themselves had missed out.

If you are wise, happy (or help make others happy), obedient and kind in life, you help share Jesus’ love. You can practice these things with your family, your friends, teachers, health care staff, police officers, the supermarket staff, and your neighbours, even during a lockdown situation. Sometimes you need to get creative to reach out to others right now, but I challenge you to think of ways to do this. Lockdown feels like a long distance event; like a combination of all 33 Olympic sports, with the highs and lows of each, and without knowing which one is up next! It’s a challenging time but we have the reassurance that God is still in control.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3

I asked Year 4 to share some of the good things about lockdown. I hope they encourage you as we continue this School@Home journey.

  • I can pick oranges, mandarins and lemons 
  • I can’t be late 
  • Mufti clothes every day
  • My family is closer than ever
  • I can eat whenever
  • A really special thing is I get to spend time with my precious dog and my amazing mum
  • Being able to ride my bike more
  • My mum is now my teacher so we can have lots of hugs
  • Given me time to play games like Roblox and make origami
  • The day goes quicker and I can go ahead in my work
  • You can stay in your pjs!
  • I work in my parents’ study which is quite fun
  • I get to bake cool things
  • I like lockdown life because I get to sleep more

Keep counting your blessings.

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