Your Very Great Reward

In addition to being part of the administrative team at Gramercy, I currently have the privilege of teaching the Old Testament to the 9th grade class.  Over the summer,  I had this great vision that we could make it all the way through the Old Testament by May, but honestly, that’s starting to seem a little crazy.  We are seemingly crawling our way through Genesis and it’s not because the students aren’t paying attention.  It’s because they are.  They have questions and thoughts and we are working through both the familiar and the unfamiliar stories with an eye to understand the heart of God.

We are currently knee deep in the story of Abraham and Isaac and are looking closely at the very radical kind of covenant God made with the descendants of Abraham. When God speaks the covenant to Abraham, He says to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield and your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1).  Although I have known for many years about the origin of Gramercy’s name, this verse was a sweet reminder to me about the reason this school exists and the reason we continue to do what we do.

Early on, Faith Evangelical Bible Church had a vision of providing a quality Christian education to the surrounding communities and in 1981, Gramercy opened its doors.  The school’s name, Gramercy, was derived from an Old English expression meaning “great reward,” because the school’s founders chose a name based on Psalm 19:11 which says, “By them [the Word, precepts, law of the Lord] your servant is warned; in keeping them [God’s commands] their is great reward.” In other words, the Psalmist is declaring that there is “great reward” in following God’s Word and the vision of the school ministry was that students would become recipients of this “great reward” as they received a solid education on the firm foundation of biblical principles.

That is still our vision today.  Whether we are teaching Bible or Biology, Math or Macbeth, we are ever aware that the Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.  Honestly, without the truth of Scripture, I’m not sure I would have anything to teach at all other than “good luck out there!”  As Genesis has reminded me once again, we are a broken people in a broken world and we are in desperate need of redemption.

As I consider the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and what that did for putting the Bible into the hands of common people, I am likewise grateful to the founders of Gramercy Christian School who chose some 36 years ago to establish a school where the Word of God is not only available, but esteemed and I am thankful for the men and women of vision who have handed us a heritage that has been, and continues to be, a very great reward.


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