Tuesday, October 25, 2016

But Do You Love Me? : Aiming For More Than Obedience

I may be dating myself, but I can clearly recall watching the musical Fiddler On The Roof about Russian Jews at the turn of the 20th century. The main character, Tevye the milkman, asks his wife if she loves him. Her rather dry, irrated response was to name all the things she has done for him: milked his cows, cooked his meals, cleaned his house, had his many children, ate with him, starved with him.  “If that isn’t love what is?” was her quick answer in a dismissive tone. What Tevye was asking for, and eventually got, was an answer that communicated love was the first, rather than the last, principle that defined their relationship.

Teachers will become students this Thursday morning as they travel to Ancaster to be part of a gathering of hundreds of Christian educators for a two-day conference held at the Redeemer University College campus. This annual conference has always been a highlight for me as an educator. It comes after about seven weeks of school and offers a chance to leave the classroom to be challenged, encouraged, and energized for the return back the following Monday. Being with that many educators in workshops together affords us times of collaboration, innovation, and professional networking with people from across the province and beyond. It is a wonderful time of growth and learning. The singing is often a highlight for many.

“Leading with  Love”  is the theme chosen for these two days this year, with two presentations husband and wife team Steven & Joanna Levi. Their message will remind us that Jesus became the new covenant and declared that he was making all things new, and that “in him all things hold together” ( Colosians 1:15-17). Believing that everything we do finds its purpose in God, and in light of the new covenant of God, we wish to challenge ourselves to go beyond obedience and toward love.  

What does this mean for us at LCES? We want to challenge students to go beyond simply following in obedience and be compelled to do what they do because love takes over. Love for Christ, love for God’s amazing world, and love for each other. When love has taken over and “we have to”  is replaced with “I want to”, we know we are getting there.

Praise God for an opportunity like this for our teachers. SJ

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