The good news tonight is that the Abilene High School band remains undefeated (and, I might add, unrivaled.) The bad news is that the boy’s basketball team lost to Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. A school I had never heard of before tonight. Based on news articles found as the result of a quick internet search; I feel that the boys lost not so much to another high school team, but to the athletic equivalent of a small religious university. If there is anything wrong with that, any shame in it, it’s not on the Abilene side of things.
Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said, “The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene.” Pride is not a Christian virtue, but I must confess that I am proud to be from Abilene (however temporarily) tonight. Specifically, I am proud of Abilene High School. This school regularly obtains excellence, not because the administration and faculty can pick and choose who attends, not because they can just throw out anyone who becomes a problem (in biblical terminology they can’t separate the wheat from the tares), but because they take in whoever walks in the door and work hard to bring out the best in them. The church should be the same way, not picking and choosing who attends (and certainly not throwing any “tares” out) but instead welcoming whoever shows up and seeking to help the Holy Spirit coax the God-given best out of them.