Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Devotion 7.6.17

When I was young, in my 20's, I returned to the place of my youth to teach, and consequently, I returned to the church I had grown up in.  My pastor at the time invited me to use my teaching ability to teach Adult Bible Studies during the evening when he needed a substitute.  Yes, I said gladly, because I am now a learned individual having attained my degree and credentials.  So, I went up to teach the subject he assigned when asked to the adults in attendance.

In my first opportunity, I had, prior to the class, studied and put together quite the lesson.  It was, in my estimation, brilliant.  I put together one question, specifically, that so impressed me that I considered having it written in calligraphy when done and framed in my house (walls of the house not yet busy with children's pictures since we were newly married).  I got to that point in the lesson where I asked this question that drew on my studies back in college.  The question would sing, I felt, and those who were in the class would probably have tears well up in their eyes asking one another, "Is this little David who once went here as a child?"  Dropping the question in front of them, I waited to savor the moment of the ooo's and ahh's coming from the class.  Miss Henry, my kindergarten teacher, was in attendance, at that time well into her 80s. I asked the question and smiled with confidence waiting for conversation to stem from both from the question and the brilliance it took to even come up with such a question.  Miss Henry immediately answered saying, "I'm not sure what you're asking, but I do know that we are saved by loving Christ."

It was a small, single straight pin that deflated that ego balloon that had probably inflated itself to an 80' circumference and left me in a pile of humiliation.  When class was over, I could feel the adults leave wiping their feet on my back as I lay in a huddled mass of complete embarrassment.

So it is with teaching.  You live, you learn.  Teaching is an activity that requires the teacher to be both the teacher and the student in one act.  The teacher will teach, no doubt, but the teacher will also learn from the students, regardless of age.  A great teacher suspends ego because a great teacher knows it's not about them.  Christ is just such a model, seizing every opportunity to teach.  Every moment we have recorded in the gospel is one in which Christ is teaching through either teaching, sharing stories, healing, praying, and visiting individuals or crowds.  Each is done with an outcome in mind that is revealed as the gospel unfolds, but there is no doubt that Christ exhibits the ultimate humility by dwelling among us as God while simultaneously showing patience as He teaches us by being a servant.  Christ is the ultimate model of teaching. 

All that to say this:  Next week, we take a nice contingent of youth to camp to learn about Christ, Sunday through Friday morning.  That's a long time to learn and to have fun.  The staff will see how Christ-like we can be as we all live and dwell among one another for almost a full week.  The staff will teach and guide and perhaps the children who attend will teach us as well. 

Pray for our journey and the success of the youth camp.  Pray that Christ use these moments to grow our faith, youth and adult alike.

Hope Men's Ministry

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