Jesus was a clever teacher

This week both Uduvil Girls’ College and Jaffna College celebrated their annual Sports Meets; an afternoon filled with games, music and friendly competition.

This week both Uduvil Girls’ College and Jaffna College celebrated their annual Sports Meets; an afternoon filled with games, music and friendly competition. The students race against each other in silly relay races and some track and field events. And in between events, the crowds of parents and teachers are entertained by the sounds of the marching band and the colorful costumes of organized dance numbers scattered across the field.

I love teaching children. I love working with children and talking with them, and as I watched some of my students shimmy-shake out on the field or successfully balance a bar of soap on their head, and saw others successfully hit the high notes on their trumpet, I was so proud of them all. There is nothing quite as fulfilling as watching a child succeed at something new.

A devotional this week led me to one of Jesus’ teachings from the book of Matthew. Jesus says we must change and become like children in order to enter the kingdom (Matthew 18:2-6). And I wonder, what does Jesus mean by this? What qualities should we seek in ourselves? What can these young ones teach us?

In working so closely with children, I get to witness their struggles and their triumphs, and I also get to see the way they discover and process the world around them. I think God’s hope for us is that we integrate the curiosity and joy of children into ourselves. In their quest for discovery, they are always asking for more information. And when they have exhausted our knowledge bases, the questions left over lead to imagination and wonder. Remember how fascinating everything seemed when you were a child? We were romanced with tales of exotic lands, fantastical peoples, and adventures of any size. We constantly sought out the newest discovery and made even a simple trip to the grocery store into a quest of epic proportions.

What would our world be like if we still viewed it through those eyes of wonder? What if we still sought out the best in each other before seeking out the worst? What if we only labeled jars instead of people? What if we explored our world constantly asking the bigger questions? What if we were quick to love and even quicker to forgive?

Jesus was a clever teacher. He wasn’t in the business of giving answers but instead guiding us to ask the right questions.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." –Albert Einstein

Julianna Nitz
Sri Lanka

Julianna is a Global Mission Intern who serves with the Jaffna Diocese (Sri Lanka) of the Church of South India.  Her ministry is possible because of funds provided by Week of Compassion of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  She serves as a music teacher at the Uduvil Girls’ College, Christian Theological Seminary, and Jaffna College.

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