school front old

It is pretty easy to collect theology.
It is a bit more difficult to apply it.

Tuesday was one of those days when I had to remember what I say I believe. Tuesday was my son’s first day of school. Sure, he has been in pre-school for a dozen hours a week, but this is big time: Kindergarten for 35 hours a week! I was looking forward to this day, until I Monday when a few thoughts sobered my excitement.

“We will not be able to see him as often as we have in the past.” “He will be under the nurture and teaching of other people for much of his time. What if it is wrong?” “What if other kids are mean to him and I can’t protect him?” 

I spent a lot of time expressing my emotions and concerns to God.

I also spent time thinking about the situation through the general Christian worldview. Here are some of my thoughts on the first day of school in light of the biblical themes of creation, fall, and redemption. 

Creation: (Genesis 1 & 2) God created everything. God called it good, and excellent in every way. Education is about observing the world that God created. All truth that is expressed there is God’s truth. There is no topic that will be covered that God did not create. It is good to explore God’s world. Beyond the content, God’s presence will be there.

Fall: (Genesis 3, continuing today) Human rebellion disrupted the peace and harmony of creation. Things are not as they were intended to be. There is still goodness, but it is not excellent in every way. This brokenness will display itself at school. There will be pain, conflict, and untruth. We need to be prepared for that. However, this brokenness has had an impact on every area of life, not just his neighborhood school.

Redemption: (The rest of history. Highlights: Resurection of Jesus, Today, Rev 21&22) God continues to love creation. God is in the process of healing all things in this fallen world. He invites humanity in this journey. Education then has a goal of being equipped to join the work of healing the broken world. My son is in preparing for that in his vocational life. He also gets to do that in the present. He can be a force for good in his school.

Remembering these truths helped me to relax more, and regain some excitement and even a sense of worship about the first day of school. Of course, seeing my son beaming with excitement also helped!


Jim Jackson Laughing

“I need to see that movie. It will make me laugh!” shouted my 5 year old son as we drove past a local movie theater.

My first thought, “Wow, he is a great reader!”

My second thought, “Wow, the advertisers already have him.”

I knew that it was time to act. It was time to defend my children from being told what they needed to buy in order to be happy.

Then I remembered a trick that I learned from a Tony Campolo talk on Greed. It was time to start teaching my children to laugh at commercials.

Our first adventure in laughing at advertisements was simply perfect.

Our children were watching Veggie Tales on live TV, when a commercial for a “Prayer Cross” began to play. This product was an overpriced piece of cheap jewelry with the words of the Lords Prayer on it. Yet this product claimed to “help you pray to God” and to “bring you peace and hope.”

It was time to pull out the laughter (Profanity was my first reaction, but not as helpful.).

“Kids that is so funny! Do we need to buy jewelry to talk to God? No way!” “Ha, Ha, Ha!”

“We do not need that ‘prayer cross’ to get peace and hope from God!” “Ha, Ha, Ha!” “That is SO SILLY!”

The kids quickly joined in on the fun at laughing at the commercial!

We proceeded to expand the game to commercials for breakfast cereals, toys, and movies.

We now enjoy a lot of laughter at the expense of ridiculous advertisements.