New Year, new devotional book. I’m taking on the challenge of going through “52 Weeks with Jesus” and to that end I still want to write about it here. The chapters (weeks) are split into sections (days), so I’ll be writing my posts daily to react and discuss the sections. Each chapter is related, so each section will connect to the next one. First up is…
Day 1 – The Reason You Are Who You Are
The entry speaks to the time between Malachi and the New Testament. During that 400 year span, God went silent. Until that time when Malachi stopped writing, God has been speaking, moving, and directing nonstop. The silence was unsettling, and would certainly lead to lots of questions by the Jewish people of that time. I can only imagine the loneliness they felt generation after generation of silence from above.
The entry suggests we shouldn’t skip over the first part of Matthew wherein we get a full detailing of the family tree leading to Jesus. We should hold it close to our hearts – the family lineage that it traces is evidence of God’s movement in those families from start to where the story picks up. The extraordinary path that Jesus took to be adopted by the family that bore him – it is unlike any story you’ll hear. That Jesus was adopted into The Line of David through Joseph, even as Jesus was not his biologic son. It is here that the modern connections to adoption are found, and the power of this moment – that Joseph who was not yet married to Mary and they had not yet had the opportunity to consummate their marriage. That if he denied Jesus as his own, or rejected the baby – there key component of Jesus coming from the line of David would be lost. That Joseph accepted Jesus as his own son, and that he was welcome in his family. Through that little moment, the requirement that Jesus come from the Line of David is secured.
When we think about your students, we have to recognize where they come from, and what has brought them to us. In the same way as Joseph, we have to adopt them into our classrooms and our lives whether we personally might like them or not – and we have to treat them, educate them, mentor them, and engage with them without prejudice, bias, or difference in approach. We have to view them as our own. Someone once told me (she was the district specialist who they called if they needed to have a teacher ‘motivated’ to leave) that the first question she would ask a teacher was, “Would you want your own child in this classroom?”, and she told me that a large percent of the time she didn’t have to ask any further. The teacher realized they needed to go. I look at myself and my classroom in the same way – would I want my kid (I don’t have kids yet) to be in this room? Or would I be sending unhappy emails to anyone would listen?
Our kids have stories, baggage, experiences, trials, tribulations, and more when they enter our room. We have to accept those things about them…but we also have to find a way to help them move forward in our rooms so they can learn, and become the critical thinkers, deep readers, and creative writers they can and will become.