Our Best Teacher

My people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.

Psalm 78:1-

Before we began a recent visit with our granddaughters, each one had a few minutes of homework to complete. Though the fifth grader’s word study page was easy-peasy, the seventh grader’s math threw me. Fortunately, she understood precisely what to do. The third grader’s math involved place value which, fortunately, hasn’t changed since I taught third grade. I secretly wished I could sit in on a class with any of my granddaughters, especially that seventh grader!

Early in my teaching career, I developed the skills I needed to reach my students. I began by getting the attention of my students. I then kept their attention by making what I had to say interesting and understandable. Finally, I gave them reason to remember what I shared.

Perhaps this is the reason Jesus repeated his lessons through his parables. When I doubt that I’m loved, I recall the parables of The Good Shepherd, The Pearl of Great Price and The Lost Coin. In each one, everything is set aside in order to pursue that which is lost. The message? Regardless of where I hide, God does whatever it takes to watch over me and to love me. When I doubt that I can possibly be forgiven, I recall the parables of The Prodigal Son, The Unjust Judge and The Friend at Midnight. The message? Regardless of how the world responds to my guilt, God always looks beyond what I have done to embrace me and to encourage me to be begin anew.

It seems to me that Jesus’ effort was well placed. Jesus’ lessons regarding God’s mercy and patience, forgiveness and love will remain with me always.

Generous God, thank you for gifting humankind with such a great teacher. Help us to take Jesus’ lessons to heart.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Lessons Worth Learning

My people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.

Psalm 78:1-

Early in my career, I came to understand some very important aspects of teaching. To get my message across, I first had to get the attention of my students. Then, I had to keep their attention by making what I had to say interesting and understandable. Finally, I had to give them reason to remember what I shared.

Perhaps this is the reason Jesus taught the same message over and over again through a variety of parables. When I doubt that I am loved, I need only to recall the parables of The Good Shepherd, The Pearl of Great Price and The Lost Coin. In each one, everything is set aside in order to pursue that which is missing. The message? Regardless of where I hide, God does whatever it takes to watch over me and to love me every minute of every day. When I doubt that I can possibly be forgiven, I need only to recall the parables of The Prodigal Son, The Unjust Judge and The Friend at Midnight. The message? Regardless of how the world responds to my guilt, God always looks beyond what I have done to embrace me and to encourage me to be begin anew.

It seems to me that Jesus’ effort was well placed, at least for me. I can’t help embracing everything Jesus said regarding God’s mercy and patience, forgiveness and love. These bits of wisdom are what make this life doable for me.

Generous God, thank you for gifting humankind with such a great teacher. Help each of us to take Jesus’ lessons to heart.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved