May 2 - 4, 2017
Christian Education Week Events:
Open House Tuesday May 2, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Shine Festival Tuesday May 2, 1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Grandparents Day Wednesday May 3, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Short Program: 9:30 am
Classroom Visits: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lunch: 12:00 pm
Swamped! Wednesday May 3, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm & Thursday May 4, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." ~Matthew 4:19
Jesus was walking along the shore of the lake one day. He saw two brothers who were fishing. he called them to follow. Scripture tells us that they did so immediately. The word immediately is striking. Why would teenagers leave their homes and the family business so hastily, and why would their parents allow it?
The answer lies in the educational system of first-century Galileans. It was a high honor to be invited to follow a rabbi and to be taught to become a rabbi. To qualify required permission from a rabbi to apply and an intense oral test that most of us today could not apss. (Who of us could recite the Torah from memory and perfectly?)
Jesus approached Peter and Andrew, James and John. They were already in the family business with their fathers. There is no dishonor in becoming part of the family business. Most Jewish boys did just that. Few passed the rabbinic tests and few were chosen to become disciples of a rabbi.
Jesus' invitation was radical. Without a test and without seemingly any prior relationship with the boys, Jesus invited them to follow him. Having given up on any hope of following a rabbi, is it any wonder that they immediately followed? What an honor for not only the boys, but for their families.
After the invitation to follow, a disciple of a rabbi would follow closely for the next 15 - 18 years. Disciples who hung in there for that long would become Torah teachers themselves. Along the way, many would choose different paths. Some found their rabbis' teaching too difficult. Some returned to the family business. After Peter denied Jesus, he returned to the family business. He had denied his dear rabbi and there was no recourse. He had disqualified himself from a life as a rabbi. He would fish.
When Jesus came to Peter on the shore of the sea after the resurrection, the story paralleled their first meeting there. But there was a difference, too. The eager, impulsive Peter of the first encounter was not the humbled, dejected Peter who had done the unthinkable and denied his master.
In the most amazing picture of grace and forgiveness, Jesus invited Peter to come back. He restored Peter. And then he told him to feed sheep, and he entrusted his flock to the care of Peter and all disciples to come, throughout history and until he returns.
Jesus' words echo through the centuries and through the halls of our Christian schools. Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.
There is no greater desire for us in Christian schools than to see our children grow in faith, be equipped for service, and become builders in God's kingdom. We give thanks to God for Christian schools, where fish are caught and where fishers of people are trained.