Murray Burton, the principal at Elim Christian College, asked me to answer the question “What does a Christian school mean to me” at our school’s heritage assembly on 16 February 2015. Here is what I said.
A Christian school is a place where God enables me to fulfill the responsibility He has given me to talk about the incredible inheritance we have through Jesus Christ.
Hear, O [people of God]: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6, NIV)
See, the people of God are in incredible debt to our Creator. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved … We lived in malice and envy … But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And [we have] to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. (Titus 3:3-8, NIV)
A Christian school is a place where we devote ourselves to doing what is good, not because doing good gets us in heaven: accepting what Christ has done on the cross does.
But doing good, inspired by the gospel, is excellent and profitable for everyone: my family, my friends, my community, my city, my country, the world.
So a Christian school is an oasis on the journey of life, a place of safety where students are prepared for the challenges ahead. My time as student or teacher is the most meaningful when I realise that whether I am in maths class or P and P, playing foursquare or volleyball, writing a story or solving a physics puzzle, I am where God wants me to be right now and I give Him glory when I give ‘my utmost for His highest’.