My prayer this year for the school and everyone here is that we will be known by our love ~ in patience; in speech; in forgiveness; in conduct; in serving.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
As I’ve been praying for this, God has shown me that it is impossible for me to love anyone without first understanding what Amy Carmichael calls Calvary Love. As the Anglican’s morning prayer of confession claims: there is no health in me! I realized this summer that I honestly don’t understand how people who don’t know the love of Jesus are kind at all – I wouldn’t be! On the flip side, if I truly have been touched by the love of God and gotten a glimpse of its breadth and length and height and depth, then how can I be unloving or unkind?
God, let us be known by our likeness to You, known by the love we have for one another.
I studied with two mentors over this summer. If you don’t have a mentor, I highly recommend finding one who is no longer living – they will never surprise or disappoint you by going woke, for one thing. My two dearly loved mentors are Elizabeth Elliot and Charles Spurgeon. I’ve been gathering notes from their wisdom for many months, always on the lookout for what might be helpful to share with teachers. As it so happened, it was my morning devotional today by Charles Spurgeon that is apt:
The people who know their God shall stand firm. – Daniel 11:32
Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith. Believers are constantly referred to in the Bible as people who are enlightened and taught by the Lord; they are said to “have been anointed by the Holy One,” (1 John 2:20) and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, so that they might grow in their faith. Knowledge strengthens love as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Savior. Or to put it another way, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait, then we love Him. We cannot love a Christ whom we do not know at least in some degree. If we know only a little of the excellencies of Jesus, what He has done for us and what He is doing now, we cannot love Him much; but the more we know Him, the more we will love Him. Knowledge also strengthens hope. How can we hope for something if we do not know of its existence? Hope may be the telescope, but until we receive instruction, our ignorance blocks our view, and we can see nothing. Knowledge removes the blockage, and when we look through the bright optic glass we discover the glory to be revealed and anticipate it with joyful confidence. Knowledge supplies us with reason for patience. How will we have patience unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ and understand the good that comes out of the correction that our heavenly Father sends us? There is not a single Christian who, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge.. It is then very important that we should grow not only in grace, but in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Oh, to write like the Prince of Preachers!
“Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Savior…. knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait, then we love Him.”
I have always craved knowledge – in all subjects, from math to philosophy, linguistics to literature, art to anthropology. I want to know, see, understand. (This is, of course, what attracted me to classical education for my own children. It is so good.) I don’t believe I’m unique in this hunger for knowledge. I believe all of us are created to crave it, because what it really is is our heart’s desire to know our Creator, to see the portrait of Jesus with the veil removed, to have our telescope of hope in focus.
As you teach this year, no matter the subject, know that you are opening the door for your students to behold Jesus. That is the work of this school. That is the work of the Kingdom of God. But you must know that love for yourselves first. Meditate on his Word day and night. Feast on it. It is the only way.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father … that he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being … [that you may] know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:14-19
You are loved by God. You are anointed by Him. And you are covered in prayer by the leadership of this school.
By: Danette Miller, SCA Vice Chairwoman