Devotions

Still in the Classroom

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8 
 
There was a time I thought that being a student would be a thing of the past. When I was in high school, I would picture graduation day and I also imagined what it would be like to earn my college degree. As I traveled further along those paths, it didn’t take me long to discover that I would be a student for life. Degrees are wonderful accomplishments, but I believe most people would say they too learned they were not “done” with the classroom. As followers of Jesus, we never stop learning how to be faithful disciples. And life provides endless opportunities for us to grow in faith. It’s hard to believe that one year ago we sat quietly in our homes wondering when we might return to normal life. We have learned a great deal since then. God has used this time to teach us more about patience and faith and love than we thought possible. It’s clear that our circumstances become a way he shows us his power and glory. God knows we are still in the classroom. 
 
I taught preschool years ago and loved working with my four-year-olds. Every day was like summer camp, full of laughter, tears, mishaps, mayhem, and curiosity. The days where we all came to the classroom ready to learn, and I’m including myself and my co-teacher, were the best days. I remember one time we were dreaming up ideas for the Easter parade. Should they be bunnies and carry baskets? Maybe it would be fun for them to be little chicks? We consulted with the kids and we asked what Easter meant to them. These young children understood from our classroom time that we were celebrating Jesus, and all agreed that we should dress up in our very best to honor Jesus. It took weeks of preparation to cut and color and make some special things to celebrate Jesus. We made huge colorful Easter bonnets and collars for the girls and gave them white gloves and parasols to carry. The boys had black top hats, paper tuxedo collars, and canes. We read the Easter story and talked about how Jesus gave his life for us. We spent time reflecting on what it means to trust in Jesus and to love him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We wanted them to understand that loving Jesus on the inside shows up on the outside and their brand new “clothes” were a way for us to communicate that message. 
 
We are a few days away from Easter and we are all continuing to discover the impact of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection on our own lives and on the world. I keep thinking about those children from my preschool teaching days. They are now in their thirties raising children of their own. I pray for them with a thankful heart knowing they are still in the classroom too, just like me. 

Walk in the Light

Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. John 12:35 

This Holy Week we are yet again confronted with the darkness of the world. At this point in the week, Jesus while on his journey surely recognized this darkness clearly. Jesus knew that in just a few days he would be killed by an instrument of execution: the cross. And even still, within the darkness, Jesus asked for us to walk in the light. Why did Jesus say this? 

Jesus knows about darkness, but I’m so glad that Jesus shares that we are not intended to walk in darkness forever. Jesus wants us to know that darkness is not our home: the light is. So Jesus’ words are both hopeful and instructional. The hope is that there is always light in Christ. The instruction is to walk in that light. Friday will come, and darkness has come in our lives, but Easter is coming. Resurrection is coming. Jesus will rise from the darkness of the grave. And so, for now, we wait… We acknowledge the dark, but we also steady our hope in Christ as Easter people. For we always have hope in Christ to bring us through the darkness and to the eternal light of God. 

Posted by Josh Miles
Tags: devotion

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