God Bless Us All, Every One! (Especially Our Teachers)

My feet are still cold from standing out on the sidewalk this morning. That's part of the job, and I wouldn't change it. I love seeing all the faces of the elementary students as they come to school. Children are God's gift to us to remind us of how He sees us and how we ought to live by simple faith in Him. When I watch a child singing or skipping down the sidewalk oblivious to the weight of the world, eager to learn, ready to believe with an open heart, it does my heart good. It reaffirms my faith in our faithful God and what He has called me and the staff here at GGCA to do. 

We have an important mission every day of school, which is to show and tell what God has to say about Himself, us as people, and the world He created through explicit teaching and through our words and lives. It is a sacred mission. Even though we are teaching many of the same subjects that are taught in non-Christian schools around the world, we are imparting the life of Christ through those subjects implicitly by virtue of the fact that a sanctified believer operating in the power of the Holy Spirit is the communicator of the knowledge and skills associated with those subjects.

We have a sort of mutual admiration society here at GGCA, in that we all have a great respect for one another's gifts and ministries as teachers. We recognize the work of God in each other to our students and thank God that students are exposed to such a rich variety of expressions of the heart and mind of Christ throughout their tenure at GGCA. We know what it takes to prepare academically and spiritually for each day in the classroom, and we recognize that what we do is no mere job for a paycheck, but a ministry of education to children and young adults.

My colleague Paula Lange, vice-principal-in-chief, likened the role of teacher to the role of our Savior in His office as high priest, with one hand on the heart of God and the other on the hearts of His children. Teachers in GGCA must have their hands connected to God's heart and to their students' hearts to effectively communicate the truths of their subjects from a biblical worldview with God's Spirit behind it. 

This is exhausting work and ministry in one, and at this season, GGCA teachers truly deserve the time off afforded by the Christmas and New Year's holidays. They need to, like Jesus did, come away from the people for a while and rest with God. Teaching in a Christian school is living in a classroom with your disciples for hours at a time, stealing a few minutes to use the bathroom, to grab a bite to eat, to converse with another adult, or to clean up after the last thing and prepare for the next thing in a professional, organized way. Like Jesus said in the midst of the crowd when the woman was healed by touching the hem of His garment, "Virtue has gone out of me," could be the end of the day mantra of every GGCA teacher.

If you think of it, pray for our teachers today and every day. Pray that God keeps them healthy, that He keeps their cars and homes from breaking down, that He edifies them with His love, wards off the devil's fiery darts, provides their daily bread, and blesses them with wisdom and discernment for each student in their classrooms. If I had the money. I'd give them all Christmas bonuses and raises. In the absence of money, I declare my great love and respect for each of them and my gratitude for their faithful service to God and our students. Merry Christmas, my friends! God bless us all, every one!

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