1.3 Learning and Adapting
God has created us as human beings with a sense of inquisitiveness, wondering, questioning, and creativity. Deep within the human psyche is a desire to grow, learn, and in the process change. Yet equally powerful for some is the desire to hang on, retain and resist any semblance of change. Each of us as human beings are creatures of habit. We change when we have to, but for many we want to hang onto what we have and resist efforts to make us change. It takes intention and purpose to strike the balance between hanging onto what is really important yet at the same time being open to change in our thinking, learning and understanding. As Christian educators, we of all people recognise that change is necessary for us to grow as people and be the community God intends us to be.
Paul writes to the Christian community in Rome; Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2 NLT). Our worldview has changed forever with God’s entry into the cosmos. Jesus coming back to life from the dead means we are a new creation. The old has gone; our lives are no longer the same. Dying and rising, repentance, changing old habits are all patterns of a new way of living, thinking, doing and being. As God changes us we are opened and transformed by the new life Christ brings us. This cannot but effect all the teaching and learning we do. As the world constantly changes around us we are transformed by God.
As a Jewish boy, Jesus grew in wisdom and understanding. He engaged in learning and change in his thinking and understanding. When he began his public ministry he called twelve adult learners to follow and listen. To those who called him Rabbi, Jesus changed their old ways of thinking about God, the Scriptures and the world. The disciples adapted to a new way of being with the help of the Holy Spirit. They were transformed as Jesus changed their old way of being. How open are you to the process of transformation and renewing of your mind? Can God change the way you think and act? It takes faith and courage to be open to this sort of change by God. But it is necessary if we are to be people who are willing to learn and adapt throughout our lives and influence the people around us to likewise change and learn.
Holy Spirit, teach me to change my old patterns of thinking to what is needed for me to learn and adapt to the students, the families, the colleagues and the culture I work in. Make me a willing student ready to learn and adapt from every person and situation I experience. Give me a willing spirit and create in me a new heart Jesus. Amen.
How would the teenagers in your school, your family, your community describe the Bible? What language, words, metaphors, images, analogies would they use? It only comes with some level of positive engagement with the Word, but it is worth the challenge of raising biblical literacy in young people when they can describe it like these guys do!
I just read a terrific little book called, “The Great Bible Swindle” by Greg Clarke. It’s a great introduction for people who feel like they should know more about the world’s most influential text but are afraid to ask. It’s for people who may have been put off by the church, found the size of the Bible too ominous or just have never got around to reading it. This book shows how much western culture and Australian society have been influenced by the Bible including our stories, poems, music, plays, art, architecture, movies and television as well as our laws, universities, charities and even science. Contrary to what we might hear espoused in secular voices and from new atheists, Clarke argues that a basic knowledge of the Bible is essential for any educated person. Towards the end of his book, he challenges anyone who reads the Bible that they will not only become more culturally literate but will also potentially have their life transformed.
This is a marvellous book with great potential for staff in Lutheran Schools who find it hard to get into the Bible or are afraid to. It’s a great resource for increasing biblical literacy amongst students and addressing some of the challenges staff may have in reading the Bible. As Dr Timothy Wright, Headmaster of Shore School in Sydney says on the back cover; “our educational system is founded on a desire for biblical literacy.” I wonder how well our Lutheran school system rates in educating students and staff in their Biblical literacy?
About this site
"Meditations & Musings" is my humble attempt to share what I have found useful in ministry in an Australian Lutheran School setting. It contains chapels, devotions and other resources I have written, used and adapted in my K-12 school context. If you would like to also share your ideas, resources or start a conversation about mission and ministry in your church- school location, feel free to contact me.
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