"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15: 12-13 (NIV)

One day while I was sitting in history class, Mr. Ryan walked up to the whiteboard and said “Alright gang, today we are going to do something a little different rather than just talking about the Roman Empire. We are going to do some personal reflection questions.” Now, we had done these sorts of questions before, where you look inward and answer a question about yourself on a deeper level. This time, rather than being a question like “What gives meaning to your life,” the personal reflection question was. What do you value in a friendship?” After writing down and then sharing our answers with one another, it was Jon’s response that really made me think. He said “Carson, if we were in a different, say, bigger school, then we probably wouldn’t be as close of friends as we are now.” This really made me wonder, how have I become such close friends with people that are starkly different from me and have different opinions from my own?

Carson D

I eventually realized that it is because of our school’s small environment and tight knit community. Covenant is a place where you learn to become friends with people that aren't necessarily your “type,” which has many benefits. First, when you become friends with someone who has different opinions, it gives you a new perspective on life and it sharpens your own thoughts and ideas. Secondly, the qualities you may personally be lacking in might be the other person’s strongest traits. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” (NASB) This passage really sums up what it means to be a friend: a friend is not just someone who you like to hang out with; it is someone who makes you a better person. It is someone who is there with you when times get tough and you need to be lifted up. Friendship brings joy and beauty to life—and I believe Covenant is a place that holds these values dear. Over the break, I challenge you to evaluate your friendships. Are you adding substance to the relationships you are in? Do you and your friend make each other better people, and how does your friendship affect all those around you?

To end my reflection, I leave you with this: the bonds we have forged at this school will not easily be broken by whatever our future holds for us. Covenant has shaped us in many ways, but these friendships are what define us and our school. Thank you.

Carson DAs part of their training in Rhetoric, our students in grades ten and up are required to develop and present a brief presentation to the school body during Chapel with guidance from their instructors and school curriculum. Each student presentation must be understandable and relevant to all age groups. Sowing seeds of rhetoric training by requiring them speak to all age levels has yielded a harvest for all to enjoy.

This week’s presentation was given by Carson D., one of our tenth grade students (pictured).