TELL THE STORY (Christian Schools International - Christian Education Week 2016)
What has your God done in this place?
Ancient people in the biblical period of history did not question the existence of God. To those people the question was always, “Which god/God do you serve?” We see the question answered in the biblical narrative. Pharaoh didn’t question the existence of the Hebrew God, but he believed the gods of Egypt were superior. The Philistines sent their champion Goliath to battle the Israelite champion in a contest to see which god/God was greater. David’s prayer that the world would know the true God bears it out.
Nothing is different in modern times. Modern people serve their gods too. Atheism claims that there is no god, but in truth atheists simply deny the existence of a greater power, our God, and put themselves or natural order in his place. Humanism has been the temptation of humans since the Fall in Eden.
In Christian schools we proclaim that every square inch of creation belongs to our God. The Fall has spoiled it and thrown the world into chaos. While Christ’s death has paid the price of sin and redeemed us, the process of restoring and reclaiming this broken world continues. We are his kingdom-advancing agents called to confront a world where people continue to put other gods in God’s place.
To this day in the land of Israel there are large stones standing in many places. These stones are unmarked, inanimate objects. They are usually found on a high place. Visitors who understand their purpose ask two questions: “Who is the god of this place?” and “What did the god of this place do here?”
When Israel passed through the Jordan, Joshua gave the elders of each tribe an instruction recorded in Joshua 4, “Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Why did the Israelites set up twelve stones? They did it for the children. They did it for the grandchildren. It was done so that generations yet unborn will know what God did for his people in that place! Forever!
Standing stones are inanimate objects, and so are our school buildings. Yet both stand as living testimonies and witnesses to the God of the place. This week is designated as Christian Education Week. It is an annual reminder to us to tell the story of what God has done in this place. It is an opportunity to tell the stories of vision, commitment, and sacrifice. It is an opportunity to go beyond the explanation of what Christian education is and into the stories of why Christian education is vital for kingdom-minded disciples of Jesus.
What has God done and what is God continuing to do in this place?