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Christian Education - Let It Shine, All the Time!
In 1971 two firefighters were throwing a football back and forth when they accidentally hit an old-fashioned lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. Instead of shattering as they had expected, the lightbulb continued to burn, dangling at the end of an electrical cord. No one knew how long the bulb had been hanging there at that fire station in Livermore, California, but a local newspaper reporter decided to investigate. He traced the origin of the bulb to the Livermore Power and Water Company and soon discovered that the bulb had been donated to the volunteer fire department in 1901. It had been burning steadily ever since. When the fire department moved into a new building in 1976, the lightbulb was carefully transported across town to the new station. It was plugged in within a few minutes, and once again the Livermore lightbulb was burning.
No one knows what made this lightbulb continue to burn, making it the oldest and longest burning lightbulb in the world. But it is a great example of a light that shines consistently the way we should shine for God.
I believe God is looking for a generation of young people and older ones who are serious about letting the light of Jesus shine through them to others.
My parents were very much convicted of this when we lived in St. Thomas Ontario, Canada. Nothing was more important to them than giving us the chance of knowing Jesus. I was in grade three in public school when they felt compelled to move to Hamilton where there was a church school. My parents did not have all the answers laid out on the table for them. They weren’t sure exactly where we would live or what job might be available, but one thing they were certain of, and that was that they wanted my sister and me to have a good foundation and training - a “Christian education.”
Did they sacrifice? Yes. Did it cost money? Yes. Did they think it was worth it? Yes! They knew it was expensive but believed it was priceless. As I look back on my years in Christian education I can see why God wanted His people to establish Christian schools.
An inspired author once penned these words: “True education means more than the perusal of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” Education p. 13. “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! Education p. 271.
Something significant I have discovered through my years of ministry is that a growing and thriving church usually has an active and involved ministry of Christian education associated with it.
Christian education - yes it is different.
Don’t you think it is time to let it shine! I know it has already. To let the face of Jesus shine through our parents; to let the face of Jesus shine through our teaching staff and students; to let the face of Jesus shine through our church family and to one another and to this community is the goal of Christian education.
Prayer: Oh Jesus, we want you to shine through us. We want You to be glorified in our lives, we want You to be glorified through Your school, we want You to be glorified in Your church. We want to make a difference but we can’t unless You are glorified. Take us, useus and be glorified in us today.
Pastor Barry Taylor