Monday Devotions 1

At the school, I am no longer directly teaching a classroom. School started on the 16 of January, and my role changed significantly. I now spend most of my time doing support work for the teachers, including grading papers and making things for lessons that they do not have time in the moment to do. I’m also repairing desks. The steel frames are in great shape, but the wood that made up the seat, front, desktop, and shelf were all falling apart, so I partnered with the school in repairing them. The school gave some money, and I gave some money for materials, and soon, 16 desks will be finished. The desks are 6 feet long, and will seat at least 4 students. I hope to get some pictures up on facebook soon of the before and after pictures. As a part of my work in the library, I am working on a book log that outlines all of the books in the library as well as a description of each so that teachers can quickly glance through book titles if they need a resource. In addition, I am trying to get more books for the library. Besides those things, I asked the principal if I could write a weekly devotion each week for all of the teachers and give it to them on Monday mornings. She said that it sounded like a great idea, so I gave the teachers my first devotion last monday.  I also thought that others might be interested in reading these devotions, so I am going to put them on my blog with some extra thoughts that I could not include because the devotion would then be too long.

The school is under the Lesotho Evangelical Church, so that’s how I can do Christian devotions for the teachers without it being an issue like it might be in the states.  The following is my first devotion:

Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-2

A new school year has begun, and with it, a new position for me at Maphutseng LEC Primary School. As a part of this new position, I will be writing a weekly devotion or encouragement for all of the teachers. As I thought about different passages of scripture, my mind settled on the book of Ephesians, so for the next few weeks, verses from Ephesians will be the focus of each devotion.

I start this Monday devotion with the first two verses of Ephesians.  Paul, the author of Ephesians, always starts his letters with a greeting to the people that he is writing to, so I will also start my first devotion with a greeting to you all:

“Ntate Neo, a servant of Jesus Christ and a learner from all of the teachers at the Maphutseng Primary School, writes to his fellow teachers who toil endlessly to give a good education to all Basotho children. He prays grace and peace to those who are serving Christ as teachers here and all over the country of Lesotho.”

It’s interesting that Paul also starts almost all of his letters by extending grace and peace from God to his audience. How much have you thought about the grace and peace that God has extended to you? What is grace anyway? Why is peace important? How can we as teachers create classrooms of grace and peace?  Some things to think about as you work through this next week.

Ntate Neo

Extra notes and reflections:

In a sermon, several years ago, a pastor said that grace is “unmerited favor,” meaning that God loves us and cares about us in spite of all of the things that we do or say. God chooses to be graceful to us though he could be wrathful and crush us for our sins and trespasses.  How can we be more like that in our lives and in our classrooms?

In addition, I was once told that the word for peace in the New Testament could actually be better translated as wholeness or an environment in which everyone is valued and no one is left out; a place where love is chosen rather than hate; a place where conflict is resolved without violence and instead, people talk to each other to solve their problems. Are we trying to create classrooms of peace and wholeness?

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~ by randallkoehler on January 30, 2012.

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