Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Waking up to a spring morning as we did today, it is hard not to notice the welcome advances of spring with the greening of lawns, the return of the birds and their morning symphonies, and even the first plants emerging from the soil. After a harsh winter has temporarily caused us to forget the joy in these things, it seems that they can’t help but captivate us and draw us in when they reappear. There is nothing new about spring, after all, it happens every year. However, our delight in it is the result of our eyes and ears being focused on it, captured by its newness and freshness. The promise of new life in Christ is mirrored by new life in nature.
But what about the other 45 weeks of the year? God is present there too, even if we don’t have the same overwhelming spring-like feeling of God with us. This morning in chapel we were reminded at
school that travelers alongside Jesus on the road to Emmaus lost perspective in that they couldn't
recognize Jesus and although seeing the things around them, they had lost true vision of God with
them. Their eyes were open, but their hearts were closed. Jesus’ response was to teach them, eat
with them, and pray with them. Proper perspective takes practice, discipline, and a community to sustain both.
Christian education follows that pattern of teaching, working, and praying to train young eyes and
ears to see God at work in our world. We want our children to have at the ready questions like “What
will I see new about God’s world today?” and “How does God’s world praise him?” and “How is God at work in my community?” as their first responses to the new things and even the mundane things they encounter. We seek to train their hearts to notice God with the same eagerness and delight with which we look for something green after a harsh long winter. SJ