The One Who Came and Is to Come
December 2015

Two boys in kindergarten came to my office several weeks ago to recite a Bible passage. They wanted to say the “Silver Verse,” this year’s annual theme found in Psalm 24:3-4. Both boys recited the passage perfectly.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.

These verses are theologically deep and must be interpreted in the full context of scripture, including the gospel message. I knew I probably couldn’t go very deep with kindergarteners, so I simply asked, “What do you think it means by having clean hands? Is it talking about lots of soap and water?” The boys laughed and said, “No.” Then one added, “I think it’s talking about being good, about how we live.”

I love it when young children, who usually think literally and concretely, are able to see past the metaphor to the deeper spiritual insight. Indeed, clean hands represent how we live on the outside; and a pure heart is about how we live on the inside.

The boys were excited to get the silver wristband with the glow-in-the-dark letters. As I watched them try it on, I thought to myself that both of these little guys will spend a lifetime learning to deal with the challenge of “clean hands and a pure heart.” It won’t be easy. They will be called to fight the good fight and finish the course (2 Tim. 4:7). And we have a chance to help them take those first steps.

Of course, clean hands and a pure heart are something these boys can never achieve on their own. Just as it is with all of us, they will need the help of someone bigger and stronger.   That’s why the end of Psalm 24 is so important. The “King of Glory” in the last four verses speaks of the Messiah, the one who came and is to come, the one who goes before us and opens the way for us to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in his holy place. He is the one who makes us righteous before a holy God, who makes our hands clean enough and our heart pure enough to stand in his presence.

This is the message we celebrate at ICS during Christmas, that the King of Glory, the Messiah, has come. For us this is not just a cultural heritage or a seasonal tradition.

It is a universal celebration of the single most important event in all of history; an event we believe can change the life of every one of our students. But we don’t just remember this during Christmas; we celebrate it every day at ICS.

We have much to be thankful for in this 40th Anniversary year, as we look back upon four decades of God’s faithfulness and the valuable work he has allowed us to be a part of. This fall we enjoyed the recognition of the National Blue Ribbon Award and the encouragement that ICS has been recognized as a school of excellence at the national level. But this doesn’t begin to recognize us for who we really are or the traditions that have set us apart for the Lord’s work in Christian education. Every day that tradition influences hundreds of ICS students, preparing them for success in this life and in the life to come.

As you think about opportunities for giving this season, please consider the work of Immanuel Christian School not only in the lives of the students we serve every day, but also in the lives of the alumni we continue to influence around the world. We need your help to continue to prepare young people with the tools they need to live purposefully and skillfully, with clean hands and a pure heart.

The King of Glory
The One Who Came and is to Come,

Stephen Danish
Head of School

P.S. We are celebrating our 40th Anniversary by hosting a Gala & Auction at ICS on Friday, April 15, 2016, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. We are seeking items for our live and silent auction and our Wish List includes vacation getaways, themed gift baskets, unique opportunities, tickets to events… even a puppy! Click to view our complete Wish List on our website. Please indicate below if you have items to donate, suggestions for the auction or wish to volunteer. Thank you in advance for your generosity and we hope to see you at the Gala & Auction on April 15 when we celebrate God’s faithfulness through the past 40 years.