I’ve been back teaching for about a month now after maternity leave, and life has been so busy with two children and full-time employment, I haven’t had time to blog. However, I want to remember today’s lesson and share it with you.
This past weekend my husband and I drove to Myrtle Beach, SC, to be a part of the wedding of one of my best college friends. It was a beautiful service, held outdoors at a botanical garden, and the wedding party stayed at beach houses on the Atlantic Ocean. It was wonderful to see some of my college friends, the bride was stunning, and I am thrilled to be a part of their special day as they look forward to the adventure that is marriage. Also, we got 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep three nights in a row, as the grandparents kept the kids in Indiana.
|Hubster and I after the ceremony|
The minister for this service was a pastor of the United Church of Christ; she was very nice and cared about my friends, though she hadn’t spent a great deal of time with them. The service was a secular one. One of our college friends, a Shakespeare aficionado, read a Shakespeare sonnet, and one of the groomsmen read Taylor Mali’s “Why Falling in Love is Like Having a Dog.” The minister said that my friends’ love made the botanical garden’s sacred.
I’ve attended quite a few weddings, but this was my first secular one. Many of my college friends, and Hubster’s college friends, are not church goers, but as I’ve been wrapped up in the Lutheran school environment the last two years I have kind of forgotten that. Oddly, not having a church experience over the weekend resulted in God pulling me to reexamine my faith.
During our 801-mile, 13-hour drive home yesterday, my husband and I listened to audio books and podcasts, including Dave Ramsey and the Lutheran Issues, Etc. When not interrupted by children, we had some deep conversations, about our lives and futures and the content of our listening.
One Issues, etc. podcast interviewed Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, a book examining how post-millennial Christians can functionally isolate themselves from an anti-Christian culture. He encouraged sending our children to scriptural-based Christian schools, especially those that promote Classical education. Dreher also discussed the reality of how our tech-driven, tolerance-focused society will eventually lead to the ostracizing of scripture-based Christians: pastors will be jailed for hate speech, and teachers will be fired for evangelizing. Hubster and I discussed at length how we continue to raise our children in the faith, and ways to both protect them from the danger of our culture, and give them to tools to be successful within it, as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest:
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. John 17:14-16 ESV
As a teacher in a Lutheran school, I often get complacent in sharing my faith; I feel like my students are encouraged in their theology classes and chapel, and I rarely incorporate my Lutheranism into my classroom. I wondered out loud with Hubster if perhaps I’d be a better witness at a public school, although there is a good chance I would find myself in trouble some day for witnessing to students. I told him I remembered my faith more when surrounded by people who didn’t share it. He reminded me that the best time to share my faith is RIGHT NOW “when you have a captive audience for 8 hours.” Other teachers devote classtime to student-led devotions and prayers, but there are plenty of ways to lead and witness to my students. We started brainstorming how I can incorporate more discussions of theology into my English classes.