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Here’s the second step in a school campus revolution

July 27, 2018

1Well, this is the last weekday of summer vacation for all of us; as if I needed to remind you of that!  It’s been a great break for my family.  Among other things, I was able to spend a lot of time in our backyard’s miniature forest building Julianne’s playhouse while clearing away the brush and trash that the previous owners had surreptitiously tucked into the back corners among the trees and vines.  Over the last three months I believe I have moved out three or four truckloads of rotted wood and castaway items.

Then I hit a patch of vines, and it took a really patient effort to work my way through them.  They were thick and intertwined, with some aggressively wrapping themselves around some of the trees.

I know these are not the vines that Christ was mentioning in John 15 – mine are invasive little bandits, and Jesus was talking about luscious, fruit-bearing plants.  However, it set me to thinking, as I was clipping and moving vines, of how the classroom is a vineyard in the making.

You and I are part of the Master Vine.  We are branches that are firmly attached to the life-giver.  The digging starts next week during Teacher Training as we prepare for the Growing Season, which is this entire school year.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser… Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Jesus shows me some important truths to incubate.

First, He is a vine, and a vine runs along the ground.  A vine does not rise like a Sequoia, commanding attention.  Unless someone lifts it up, it stays low and humble.  In the times of the year where it would seem easy to complain and draw the sphere of attention to myself, may I realize the humility needed for a proper classroom ministry.  I’m a branch, man.  A branch.  A branch is totally dependent upon the vine for any strength.  Why, then, would I let a streak of selfish independence get in the way?  If I am to show fruit that is promoting the Kingdom to my students, then humility and gentleness are of great importance.  Am I willing to go the extra step to minister to my pupils, even if it digs into my comfort level?

Second, the branch clearly shows the fruit that comes from the vine.  Can my students see Christ in me?  I remember going to a largish-type church where a praise band was opening up the service.  “Let’s all sing together,” cried out the leader – while turning up the volume on the microphones and drowning out the congregation.  Where was the unity of praise?   The people in the seats became complacent in singing – why?  We were in a concert, not in community worship.  As I watched the posturing on the stage it became apparent that chords, not Christ, were the focus.

Oh, that we could remove all obstacles that would interfere with our students seeing Christ in us.   It’s not my name or my personality that will take a student through the school semesters and the graduate years beyond; it will be the understanding and following of the Christ of the Bible, the beauty of God, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of the Heavenly Father.  I don’t see that the name “Zockoll” fits anywhere in that last sentence.

There is a lot more to type but, really,  I don’t feel led to do it right now.  Maybe we ought to just concentrate on these two points.  It’s enough of a spiritual preparation for me to meditate on these on this final weekday of our summer.

 

 

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