What is an organizations greatest asset? Is it their building, their organizational structure? Is it their program or products? What is it that makes an organization great?
Some may argue that it’s all of these things working together, but what keeps them working? Why can’t we find one asset that is greater than the rest? I know, that is a lot of questions and you probably haven’t had your full compliment of coffee yet, but these are important things to consider. Why? Because each organization is unique. Unique in what they offer consumers, unique in how they deliver their goods and services, and unique because of its greatest asset, the people who put it all together.
The first week of May we will be celebrating TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK. Started in 1984, this is a week that we celebrate the dedication and hard work of the men and women who diligently prepare our children for the challenges of life that lay before them. Lesson plans, grading papers, answering questions, solving problems, and that is before they get into the classroom to teach our children to read, to write, the importance of history, the excitement of science, and how to relate to those around us. Our children’s teachers are so much more that just that person who stands in front of a classroom telling them what they should know, how they should do it, and why it is important. Our teachers are also councilors, nurses, social workers, referees, dieticians, janitors, and so on. And, they do all of this with love, compassion, patience, and a will to see our children succeed in life.
In the book of James, we find the reason that we should see the value of those who answer the call to be teachers. It is a profession that demands much of the person. It is a profession that easily comes under fire when something goes wrong. But, what it really is, is a mission, a ministry to teach, disciple, love children and train them in the way they should go. James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
Teaching as a profession is not for everyone. I am a living example of that. Although I did it last school year for a wonderful group of 9th graders, it is not my calling. My dad was a teacher of literature and poetry, he was a great teacher. I was never blessed, or cursed, to have him as a teacher, but I have heard others speak very well of him and the work he did. I believe he was called to be a teacher, but I was not.
At Mountain View Christian Academy, we always say that we have the best teachers this side of heaven, and we do. The men and women who serve this ministry do so not out of a love for money, for we all know that private school teachers are the lowest paid, but out of a sense of mission. To teach and train the next generation of leaders. To be a part of something bigger than themselves. To be able to deliver quality education for the whole child - Spiritually, Academically, Socially and Physically.
In our world there are many people who are heroes. We can debate who is the greatest of the heroes, but the ones who touch lives, and have the opportunity to shape the future, they are teachers. According to Dictionary.com a hero is 1. A person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character, 2. A person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal. You tell me if that does not describe a teacher.
So, to all the teachers of the world, HAPPY NATIONAL TEACHERS WEEK! You have been, and still are heroes by the very definition of the word.
For many the idea of celebrating someone’s death is a difficult concept to grasp, especially when we have had a close relationship with that person. With death comes an end. An end of a period of time, an end to a beautiful, earthly relationship, and the end of life itself. We cry at the loss, we mourn at the thought of not seeing that person again, and the sadness lingers for what seems like an eternity. But, death does not have to be the final goodbye. It does not have to be the end of the final chapter. It could be just a time to say, “I’ll see you in a little while.”
On Friday, April 15th we remember the night that Jesus Christ was arrested, wrongfully tried and convicted, brutally beaten, and nailed to the cross and left to die. The narrative is difficult to read without shedding tears. I could not imagine what it would have been like to actually witness what he had to go through. Hollywood has attempted for years to put on film what that night must have been like for Jesus, but even then, I have to wonder if it wasn’t even worse. The Passion of the Christ was probably the closest, but even then, was it even more brutal than Hollywood can depict? And yet, we celebrate the death of Jesus. We, Christians, look upon the cross not as something to be despised, but as something that was necessary. I mean, we do call the day, “Good Friday.”
But the death of Jesus was not the end of the story, and because of what happened on Sunday, it does not have to be the end of our story either.
Jesus’ end on this earth was the beginning of life for all of us. It opened the door between mankind and God the Father. What once was an ugly, blood-soaked cross is now a beautiful bridge between us and God. When we accept Jesus’ invitation to follow Him, to be His disciples, to die to our sins in the watery grave of baptism, and arise in a newness of life we become heirs to the very kingdom in which He, the only begotten Son of God, came from.
Romans 8:17 - Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Galatians 3:29 - If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Titus 3:7 - so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Because of what Jesus endured on the night of his betrayal and the day of His death, we share in His inheritance when we become children of God.
Galatians 3:26 - So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
So, the story of the cross, of the death of Jesus, is not the end. We know that on the first day of the week, Sunday, the stone was rolled away from the tomb and the body of Jesus was nowhere to be found. HE IS ALIVE, and because of His resurrection from the dead, we too, can share in that resurrection one day as we live for Him, serve Him, and share His marvelous story. In the same way we shall rise from our earthly graves to walk in the glories of heaven.
Romans 6:5 - For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
This past Sunday, nearly 2000 years ago, was a time of great joy as Jesus entered Jerusalem, but that joy quickly turned to great sorrow as Jesus was beaten and crucified, but in three days it became a day of great hope. Life as we know it on this earth will stop one day, but life with Christ will live for all eternity. There will be no end to the story if we accept Him, His grace, mercy and the assurance of what will be for all eternity.
1 Corinthian 15 - 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
When you gather together with family and friends this Easter Sunday, remember, what may have seemed like a sad Friday, was in fact “good,” as it was the forerunner to what became a “GREAT” Sunday!