September 15 – The Vocabulary of the Holy Spirit

Earlier this week LPC’s amazing mission partner in North Philadelphia, Hunting Park Christian Academy, posted videos on its Facebook page showing four students reciting their memory verses at this week’s chapel service.

You may view the videos here, here, here, and here.

Yes, they are pretty cute, and, full disclosure, Becky works at HPCA.

LPC people hear about HPCA all the time and have been generous supporters of its mission and ministry.  HPCA says of itself, “At Hunting Park Christian Academy, our goal is to raise up Christian young people who excel in all areas of their lives.  Our mission is to provide an affordable, quality, Christian education that celebrates a diverse community and leads children to know and serve the Lord.”  By all measures, they are succeeding, though they are hardly ready to rest on their well-deserved laurels.

One small way that HPCA seeks to meet its goal and fulfill its mission is through weekly chapel services that include an opportunity for some of the students to recite one of the Bible verses they have memorized.  This past Wednesday was the first time this school year kids had an opportunity to share their memory work.

Memorization rises and falls as a recommended teaching strategy among educators in and out of the church.  Right now it is enjoying a bit of a resurgence.  I say good for memorization.

Just about the only Bible verses I memorized as a child were those required for a Boy Scout God and Country award. Memorization had fallen out popularity as a teaching strategy when I was young, though I’d be willing to go head to head with just about anyone on a state capitals Trivial Pursuit match.  “Let’s see, Missouri. Oh, yeah…”

I wish as a child I had memorized more Scripture.

It has been said that memorized Scripture is used as the vocabulary of the Holy Spirit as he speaks to our hearts and minds in times of trouble, confusion, and fear.

“Even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” the Spirit whispers into the fearful heart of the person who has just received a cancer diagnosis.

“I have called you by name, you are mine,” the Spirit reassures the one whose sense of self has been shaken to the core.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” the Spirit answers the ugly taunt of the racist.

“Turn to him the other cheek,” the Spirit counsels us when we have been wronged.

“Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought,” the Spirit reminds us when we want the whole world to know how well we’ve done.

I am glad the students at HPCA are asked to memorize Scripture as part of their education. Who knows when the Holy Spirit may need to remind them to remain in Christ and that apart from him they can do nothing.

The children at LPC are also asked to commit some Bible verses to memory.  You may have seen this at our Facebook page.  Who knows when the Holy Spirit may want to encourage them to pray just as young Daniel prayed.

They say a child’s mind is like a sponge when it comes to words soaking in. It may be easier for a child to memorize Scripture, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible for an adult to do so. And who knows when the Holy Spirit may need some words to use when he is speaking to us.

I won’t see you Sunday. Becky and I will be in Western PA for a wedding. Dr. Brian Luther will be filling our pulpit and LPC people are in for a really good sermon!