1 Peter 2:5 “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
“‘In the first place [at Eastern Christian] there were those who wanted to teach their children Dutch. Secondly, there were a few who found fault with the public school because their children did not get along well, and last but not least were those who had a genuine love for Christian instruction.’” (Richard N. Ostling, A Centennial Sketch)
In 1939, my grandmother, Anna (Antje) Kuiper graduated from Eastern Academy. In 2009, I began teaching Interdisciplinary Studies at Eastern Christian High School. I’m not sure why great grandpa Klaas and his wife Petronella chose to send Teddy and Anna to school here upon their arrival to the US from Makkum in 1924. Whichever else it was, I hope it was also because they were genuinely interested in “training their children up in the way in which they should go.”
There are 60 years in between my grandmother’s leaving of EC and my arrival here. In the space of that time, other members of our family passed through these halls. EC was a part of my story before I ever arrived here. Even before I was born. It’s been a living, breathing part of my family history, and now I am the one living in it.
As we celebrate our 125th anniversary this year, our Spiritual Theme team has chosen 1 Peter 2:5 as a foundational verse for our community as we “remember” what God has done in so many years, “reflect” on the goodness He fills our lives with today, and “respond” to His promises for our future. Like a cairn, a stone monument, that memorializes a significant event and points the way toward a future path, this community stands today, marking the many miracles of God and looking forward with expectant hearts to the great plans God has for us.
2 Corinthians 3 in The Message reads: “Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we’re not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.”
My prayer for us is that each day we would be aware of what God is writing on our hearts as individuals and a community. As we publish the living stone letters of our students, let’s remember God’s good words that give us a future and a hope.