the best education

Education as we know it here probably has its roots in the western stream somewhere. Learning, as in the sciences seems to have primacy of place, but place is given to the arts, as well. Education is practically considered the key to the good life for most everyone. It’s supposed that knowledge is the key to a better society. If people just know enough, everything will be better. And especially so, if they know in a way which meets life where it’s lived, both as an individual and within society. That last point is getting warmer toward the truth, I think.

One of the major problems of public and dare we say, private education (though some of that may be able to do better) is that the learning is not necessarily tailored well to the individual. We all are at different places and stages for one reason or another in our development and growth. And we all have different bents and aptitudes. Education has done well to help students within the system. The problem might be the system itself, which does not flex enough to do well by every student, I’m thinking.

Of course we talk about the education of hard knocks. Simply meaning learning the ropes “the hard way.” Breaking the rules and paying for it, facing the consequences. We’ve all been there and done that to some extent.

In none of this do we really graduate. Life goes on, and with it a continual learning, all the more in today’s fast changing world. And this is true in what I consider the best education.

The best education in the world is one of becoming and being a disciple or follower of Jesus. Jesus brings into the world a new way of being human within a new order, the kingdom of God. This new order is not only spiritual, but material and transforms all of life. Nothing at all is excluded.

To learn from Jesus is to be committed to God through him, through his death and resurrection. It is a dynamic lived within the community of the church by the Spirit of God in and through Jesus. It is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week proposition. Scripture is an important part of it, read individually and within community in the church. This kind of education does not necessarily negate other kinds. For us in Jesus it transcends everything else, but it includes all that “is true, …noble, …right, …pure, …lovely, …admirable …excellent or praiseworthy.” There is much within “common grace” we can learn and benefit from. But even those areas, –every one of them– is transformed by the kingdom of God in Jesus, active and at work in our lives, both in our outlook and activity.

Yes, everyday, today is included. What does the Lord want to teach me/us today? What is he teaching us lately? And how are our lives changing in conformity to God’s will in recent times through this? Just some of the questions we can ask as we continue to work this out together in Jesus and for the world.

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