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This school year, think #PHIL234

Back-to-school time typically brings hope and energy. We look forward to cooler weather, football, pumpkin spice (well, some of us) and holidays.

Not this year.

The cloud of COVID-19 has been thick. It doesn’t seem to be lifting. The global pandemic has touched so many people we know and love. None of us has escaped totally unscathed.

You can see the moment it hit our Christian Chronicle family on the front page (September 2020). When our reviews editor, Laura Akins, shared that heart-wrenching photo of her 5-year-old daughter, Scout, enduring a COVID-19 swab test, we shed tears and dropped to our knees in prayer for our colleague’s family.

That photo demonstrates just one of the ways that the pandemic is impacting the lives of children this fall as they head back to school. 

Our staff includes a parent whose daughters are in class at a Christian school, a parent who opted for all-virtual learning for her son and daughter, and parents of college students (one on campus and one learning remotely).

So our plea this fall is that we take every thought captive, as Paul urges the believers in 2 Corinthians 10.

None, absolutely none, of these decisions was easy. None of us has been in a situation like this before. (Who began 2020 expecting a global pandemic unlike anything seen since the 1918 Spanish flu?)

On so many questions, it feels there is no right decision, and everything seems to be bathed in politics and rage. No matter what we choose, we risk criticism. We’re stressed. Our teachers and administrators are stressed.

So our plea this fall is that we take every thought captive, as Paul urges the believers in 2 Corinthians 10. May we think before we speak.

Ask: Are our words helpful for encouraging and building up? Or will they cause an already struggling family to fall a little farther into isolation? Will our words show the love of Christ? Or will we give a fellow Christian one more reason to distance himself or herself from the Lord’s church?

Please, please, please choose your words carefully. Encourage one another, day after day. Pray, without ceasing, for those you know and those you don’t. Be the bright spot in someone’s day.

We have a limited number of Christian Chronicle #PHIL234 masks available.


Masks were on the school supply list this year, so one of our donors helped the Chronicle provide some extra ones for Oklahoma Christian Academy.

Sold Out

We chose to emblazon these masks with #PHIL234, a reference to Paul and Timothy’s advice to the young church in Philippi: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

That’s the best advice we can summon for wearing a mask. As long as we must wear them, let’s wear them emblazoned with words of love.

Filed under: #PHIL234 chronicle face mask Coronavirus covid COVID-19 covid19 Editorial face masks

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