Call to Worship Your name, O Lord, endures forever, Your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages. For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants. Psalm 135:13-14
Confession Lord, You come to us, but we do not recognize You; You call, but we do not follow; You command, but we do not obey, You bless us, but we do not thank you. Please forgive and help us. Lord, You accept us, but we do not accept others; You forgive us, but we do not forgive those who wrong us; You love us, but we do not love our neighbors. Please forgive and help us. Lord, You showed us how to carry out Your mission, but we still insist on our own; You identified with the poor and needy, but we seek our own wants and desires; You suffered and died for all, but we turn to our own comfort. In the midst of our lack of faith, You are always faithful! Please forgive and help us, You are the faithful one! Amen.
Contemplation But Jesus offers us another way, a humble way that waits patiently – despite the suffering – for the Spirit of God to direct our steps. He reveals to us what it means to embrace our humanity without short cuts.
Well, I have no shadow of doubt that this leap down the road was on the Spirit’s prodding. And, yeah, my shining light is still just brief scratched-matchstick bursts that quickly flame out, but, well, it is light nevertheless.
And there are joyous glowsticks of light waving across campus from Cate and Nicole’s rooms. And there are springs of His joy in each of our footsteps, albeit a little less springy by the end of the day.
Yesterday I had a conversation with ol’ Xavier, the dread-locked kid who is just returning from out-of-school suspension and who did not seem to have learned even one iota of classroom decorum from his vacation from school. And he sure gets well, pissed, if I mispronounce his name as Javier because he “ain’t no Mexican,” and if I call him “Sir,” well, that pisses him off too, but it was still a good chat. I told him that I had a weird little story to tell him. Weird spelled W-E-I-R-D, since no one knows how to spell “weird scientist hair.”
And I told him about the first time I saw him outside of his locker when I was visiting that first time. And he corrected me and said, “Miss, we don’t have lockers; I was standing at the drinking fountain.” And he had asked if I was the new science teacher, and I had said yes, and he had said, “Miss, we are going to have a great time.”
I told Xavier that when I met him, I thought to myself, “That is exactly the student I want to teach,” and that he was the reason I was teaching at his school and I knew that we were going to have a great time.
Xavier agreed that it was a weird story.
And yesterday Nicole and Cate sent out an offer to all of the school leadership. They said that wanted to start a Leadership class the last period of the day. And that they would take everyone’s “Leader for Bad,” and work on learning how to be “Leaders for Good.” Whenever my dad dropped us kids off at school, he always told us to be Leaders for Good, and not Leaders for Bad.
And on the Monday after spring break, they will have the boys/girls separated and do some community building, Tuesday the school has asked Nicole to lead a schoolwide Rachel's Challenge, and then they will talk about what project they want to do together that would focus on respect, team-building, collaboration and making a positive impact on the school... Rather than being a "Resource" class, we would call it our "Leadership Class: Becoming a Resource to ourselves and others."
Each week we would focus on going "In" --- some reflection, awareness, developing personal resources --- as well as "out" -- becoming sensitive and aware of needs around us and learning to collaborate to become the change we want to see.
If there are any "misdirected" leaders, misfits, kids who might need some more vision or help with their issues, please feel free to hand-select them and send them our way to sixth period. We want to maintain the fairly intimate class size that we currently have, but really use that time to serve the kids (and especially at the end of the day when they are wound-up emotionally anyways.)
I imagine a few teachers will be happy to send some “misdirected” leaders over to their sixth period class.
And yeah, I am pretty proud-happy with my compadres. And one of the Leadership Team at the school always tells me that we were sent by God to her school to change the school culture.
All I know is that we were sent by God.
And today’s Lent Contemplation was about Jesus’ time in the desert. And again and again, Satan whispered, “Now,” and again and again, Jesus was willing to remain under and wait on His Father and not take any shortcuts.
And LORD God, today may I recognize You again and again. Standing by the drinking fountain, for instance, ready to have a great time.
Because You will have compassion on Your servants, and Your name is to be glorified throughout all ages.
And man, Nicole fairly floats out of the house with all of her jingle jangle costume clothes, she is so full of His joy.