I cannot thank you enough for your encouragement, collaboration and cooperation during the first month of school. We continue to be extremely diligent in protecting our children from COVID and other illnesses, while we strive to do everything possible to keep students in class. To date, we have had to quarantine six classes (each for one week): Liz’s 2 year old class (this past Wednesday), Damaris’ 3A class, Pamela’s 3B, Ingrid’s Kindergarten, 1st Grade B, and 2nd Grade. Most recently, we moved to our outdoor class protocol following an exposure in a 4K class, 1st Grade B, and 4th-5th Grade.
Covid symptoms have unpredictably ranged from congestion, cough, sneezing, and runny nose to vomiting, abdominal pains, and an earache.
In my last two videos, I have mentioned the word “Shalom”. While it translates to “peace” it means so much more. As God created (Genesis 1), He would confirm at the end of each day that His creation was “good!” After day six was complete, He saw that everything was “Very Good!” And then He rested the seventh day. With each day of creation, the Bible says, “And there was evening, and there was morning—the [next] day. Each day starts with the prior evening. And then the day comes out of that evening’s rest. Hmmm, I like that word “rest”! Interestingly enough, Genesis 1 never talks about the end of Day 7. So, the rest of scripture starts with Day 7, when God rested (pun intended).
To back up a bit, in our first chapels we talked about how the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are Three Persons but indescribably One God. We discussed with the children how God did not create out of eternal boredom or loneliness, but out of an overflow of glorious love that has eternally existed between the Three Persons. And their unity is beautifully and artistically expressed in the creation of the Uni-Verse, where we see spectacular diversity that is unified on several different levels. And it was Very Good. Shalom is when everything is flourishing, living in its design, overflowing with unity. So when Day 7 begins, the world is now fully ready to exist in the rested Shalom that comes from the Perfect God.
However, we know a world full of worry, weariness, hurt, disease, and death. There seems to be a continental divide between Genesis 1 and our reality. Yet, the Bible shows us that selfishness brought death into the world (Genesis 3). But the Bible also shows that Jesus came not only to forgive us of our selfishness but to also restore “Rest” to our hearts. Shalom. Hebrews 4 paints this poignant picture of how Jesus suffers our turmoil so that we can experience His rest.
As we daily endeavor to provide our children with a world-class education through intercultural, project-based, language immersion education, we prioritize that each child walks into a classroom of Shalom. No matter what brokenness hammers at us from the outside (COVID, finances, fear…), we want our children to know they can have Shalom inside, where every teacher is experiencing Jesus’ rest in their hearts. Shalom is a peace not based on circumstances. It is inside-out not outside-in.
As I mentioned in the last video, I daily prioritize getting up before the world and having time with Jesus (imaginatively reading the Bible, slowly meditating on who He is, and trusting my battles to Him (prayer). So then, each day I enter my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, and my headmastering with an inside-out peace, determined to not let the outside rob my Jesus Shalom, and trusting the opposite will occur, where my Jesus Shalom might quiet the outer battles.
May Jesus be the Shalom for your family.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest… (How?)… 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.