Welcome back! We are super excited that we can actually start school all together! Austria has been doing a good job of keeping COVID under control, so we have the amazing opportunity and privilege to have your children return to ICSV in person. As has been communicated, we are following increased hygiene procedures in order to protect the students and staff.
With all of the uncertainty of COVID and just how easy it is to focus on what we have lost or are not able to do right now, we have decided that this year’s theme is overflow, using the verse from Psalm 23 “My cup overflows with blessings.” What exactly does this mean? Instead of focusing on the negative, how about if we look at all the blessings that God has given to us?
In the Bible there are 112 references about being blessed. Not one of them connects blessing to material prosperity. Instead, blessed means “to be fully satisfied regardless of the circumstances.” In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul writes, “Praise be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” God has blessed His followers with salvation, forgiveness, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, eternal life, and a joy-filled contentment that cannot be shaken by circumstances.
Does God ever bless us with material things? Yes, He does. But He reminds us that “if anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” Our goal in life should not be to amass great material wealth, but to use what we have to bless others. By doing so, the people whom we bless “overflow in many expressions of thanks to God” (2 Corinthians).
The Bible references the following as examples of the blessings that overflow from our lives: joy, hope, love, grace, glory, comfort, thanksgiving, and gratitude. We are also told that we are to overflow bountifully, deliberately, freely, liberally, and cheerfully.
My prayer for us as a school is that we will be intentional about seeking out ways that we can bless others. That may mean we pray for those in need. We may give out of the abundance that God has given to us. We may volunteer our time to write letters to those who have been imprisoned because of religious persecution or start a group to raise awareness or advocate for change. We can share our resources and expertise with someone or another international Christian school that doesn’t have nearly what ICSV has in resources and experienced personnel.
When you have the chance to come to the school, walk around the hallways and see the different quotes that refer to overflowing. I will close this first Eagle article with a prayer by the Apostle Paul to the church in Philippi: “I pray that your love for one another will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding.”
Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director