One of the people who I most admire, is a Sunday school teacher. I had the privilege to attend the teacher’s class only once, but it was perhaps one of the most meaningful experiences in my life. That teacher also happened to hold another important position at one time in his career, the office of the presidency of the United States. At 91 years old, former President Jimmy Carter still regularly teaches a Sunday school class in his Plains, Georgia church.
My family and I attended the president’s class one spring when we were returning from a Florida vacation. Following the morning services, President Carter stayed to allow attendees, who were mostly vacationing guests, to pose for pictures with Rosalyn and him. Imagine that! After Sunday school, every Sunday, the former president and his family delay their lunch plans to spend time with strangers who just want a photo and a memory of their visit! I will forever be impressed with how humble and hospitable the president and his wife were to their guests.
I have been following with great interest the news of President Carter’s recent cancer diagnosis and treatment. I was joyful to learn of the recent announcement he made to his Sunday school class that following his cancer treatments, he had already been declared cured. He was cancer free! This was no coincidence. While he elected to receive medical treatment at his advanced age, his cure is a miracle, which can only be attributed to the Lord.
Sadly, only two weeks later, President Carter made another announcement to his Sunday school class. His 28 year old grandson, Jeremy Carter died unexpectedly in his sleep. The president was 25 minutes late last Sunday morning to teach his Sunday school class upon learning of his grandson’s death. He had never been late before. When he did appear before the class, he used the occasion to speak to the attendees candidly about grief. With the loss clearly weighing heavily on him, the president told the congregation to, “be filled with a sense of joy and thanksgiving.” He added, “I should be joyful and thankful to God for giving me both life and freedom.” When we think about the heros in our lives, parents firefighters, soldiers, police officers, even politicians and presidents come to mind. It is not often that we think of a Sunday school teacher. However, it is the seriousness of how the former president regards his role as a Sunday school teacher over a lifetime that makes him heroic. Regardless of our religious or political leanings, it is difficult not to admire President Carter as a man of God. Even though I wasn’t present in his class this past week, the president taught me, along with countless others in the world who read about his testimony.
At Crossing Community Church, we have a number “heros” who prepare a Bible lesson each week for class members to learn about God and grow spiritually. Let me introduce you to our Sunday school teachers. I appreciate every one of them, and I invite you to attend one of our Bible studies on Sunday mornings. There are classes for all ages beginning at 9:30 a.m.