Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year. This is a history changing school year with the Covid-19 pandemic altering how our school year began with distance learning. Nevertheless, we are excited about the quality of learning our students are receiving.
Let me share two stories with two discoveries that changed the course of history.
“I have found it!” James Marshall yelled to Mr. Scott as he rushed into the carpenter shop. “Found what?” replied Scott. “This at the mill,” said James as he opened his hand to show some pebbles to Scott. “What is it?” asked Scott. “Gold!” exclaimed James. “Are you sure?” asked Scott. “Absolutely certain,” replied James. Four days later, James showed the gold to Mr. Sutter, owner of the mill. Using a variety of tests, they determine it was pure gold. “James,” said Mr. Sutter, “Let’s keep this a secret.” History does not tell us all the tests they used to check the quality of the gold but chances are they used an ancient touchstone test by rubbing the gold sample on a piece of dark quartz or jasper to find its quality. In California, we know the rest of the story for it was the worst kept secret. Word of the gold discovery got out and the 1849 gold rush was on and the course of history was changed.
“We have found him” yelled Philip to his friend, Nathan, who was sitting under a fig tree reflecting. “Found who?” asked Nathan. “This morning we were down by the river listening to John the Baptist. He pointed to a man, Jesus of Nazareth, as the Lamb of God,” replied Philip. “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” asked Nathan. “Come and see, “replied Philip. Later, Nathan met Jesus who gave him a touchstone test, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false and I saw you under a fig tree.” Scripture does tell us which test Jesus used to check the quality of a man: Himself who is full of grace and truth. In Christianity, we know the rest of the story. Word got out that Jesus was the Messiah and the Christian movement was on and the course of history has never been the same.
This year’s theme is wrapped in the touchstone metaphor. Whether it be a new discovery or a development of character, we need a true touchstone to verify its quality. Jesus Christ, the Rock, is the true touchstone by which all learning at FAA can be tested to ensure its quality. This year let us learn from the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ.
May Jesus, the true and faithful witness, richly bless you this school year with His presence and grace.
In His Name,