Kerak Castle, Jordan (Photo R Brennen)
This week the students and teachers have been reflecting on the idea of ‘seeing clearly’.
In the Gospel According to Luke we read the very interesting story of Jesus appearing to his disciples.
Jesus appeared to his disciples after his death while they were walking along a road but they did not see that the person that was walking with them was Jesus. Jesus talked with them for some time but they did not see that it was Jesus that was talking to them. Jesus ate with them but they did not see that it was Jesus eating with them. How often do we like the disciples not see Jesus clearly?
This term I have the pleasure of teaching Christian Studies to all the students and the topic this term is ‘God’s Creation and our response to it’. I love engaging students in the study of God’s beautifully complex creation and encouraging students to take responsibility to care for all the parts of it. This week many parents joined us for a parent night which discussed the importance of eating and drinking the right foods to ensure good health in our children. The timing is indeed interesting.
As human beings we are part of Creation and caring for our bodies is an act of caring for Creation. I discovered that my daily Diet Coke could be causing me to do damage to my body. I see clearly now that I could be looking after God’s Creation a little bit better.
There is a beautiful prayer that Lutherans use in worship. “Most merciful God, we confess that…we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.” It is indeed a merciful God that forgives us even when we do not see our actions clearly.
I pray that God will bless us with clarity in order for us to see and do what needs to be done to fully care for God’s Creation.
Olive groves at the Church of All Nations, Jerusalem (Photo: T Brennen)
I am constantly amazed by the beautiful artwork that our students produce. And it is not just the principal who feels this way!
Last week a contractor was completing some work on the school when they noticed the many sunflower drawings in the reception area. As they left, they knocked on my door and said “Sorry to bother you, but I want you to know that these drawings are absolutely beautiful. They have made my day!”
Often our actions don’t seem to be that significant or to have a deep impact on others. I am pretty sure that the students wouldn’t have thought they would make a contractor’s day. We can so easily have an impact on others – both positive and negative.
At school we encourage students to reflect on their day often. It is through stopping and reflecting that the Holy Spirit allows us some insight into our actions, the actions of others and perhaps allows us to notice how God is working through us.In the gospel for this week Jesus tells his disciples “…the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.” (John 4:37)
I suspect the disciples had not spent time reflecting on how they were benefiting from the work of others! Perhaps they needed to spend as much time in quiet prayer and contemplation as Jesus did.
Schools and parents are in the business of seeking to bless children with a good education. Learning has the potential to influence a person for their entire life. We do not know today what one of our prep students may go on to achieve later in their lives.
As we consider the busyness of a rapidly approaching end of term it is important for us all to remember that we never know when we will be a blessing to others. Following Jesus’ example of humble service should be our constant goal.
You never know what flowers may grow beside the path God calls us to.