The school year is starting. It's go time. After a summer away from the classroom, we're now up to our eyeballs in bulletin boards, classroom layouts, updating websites and getting ready for open houses.
I'm guessing right now you don't need any more tech tips or tricks or deals from me. There's not time for adding anything else. Instead, I'd like to offer some perspective as you jump into your year.
This images above was captured this past Easter. Pope Francis spent part of his Holy Week washing the feet of refugees in Europe. I love this image. I have it hanging in my room. Why? Because even though the pope represents a great deal of earthly power, he humbled himself, got on his knees and washed the feet of those in need, or as Christ might have put it, "the least of these."
As teachers, isn't this our job too? To jump into the dirt, discomfort and vulnerability of each school day to serve the students in our room. Isn't it our job to push back against structures that place the teacher above the student? Shouldn't we also get on our knees and look eye to eye with each child and to tell them that they are loved, that they belong, and that they too can be washed clean.
Take a moment, and read this passage from John 13. Notice the references to teaching in verses 13 and 14.
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. 5 Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. 6 He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”10 Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you.”11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “You are not all clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
A good friend of mine has a hand towel prominently displayed in his office. Years ago, his father gave it to him as a reminder and a challenge. A reminder of when Christ washed his disciples feet and a challenge to selflessly serve others in the same way. Perhaps putting a bucket and a towel in your classroom might be just the reminder and challenge you and your students need throughout the year.
So, as you start your year, stop for just a moment. Take a deep breath. Pray for God's guidance, protection and grace in the year ahead. Remember that as followers of Christ you are called to serve.
Now let's go wash some feet.
Taking a Break
Because you wont have time to read and I won't have time to write, I'm taking a break from posting for the next few weeks. I'll start up again when it feels right.
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