Back to School
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born till the moment you die, is a process of learning.”
I just read about a 90-year-old Kenyan woman who is proof that education has no age limit. Priscilla, a midwife, is going to primary school for the first time so she can learn to read and write. Because she grew up in an occupied country and lived through Kenya’s struggle for independence, she never received an education. She wears a school uniform and sits on the front row of her class. Priscilla says, “Education is your wealth.”
Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he said to them.
So, in the verses right before these, Jesus disappeared for three days, and his parents were frantically looking for him. Today’s scripture picks up when they find Jesus in the temple learning from the teachers there. Naturally, they are upset. How could he have done this to them? (Parents can be so dramatic, right? We know. It’s because we worry about you!) Jesus, remember, is God running around in 12-year-old skin. A nice mix of snark and holiness. He’s like, “Really, Mom?! Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know I would be at church? Duh.” And, of course, his parents didn’t understand. Parents never do. (Or does it just feel that way?)
Jesus knew that his job on this earth was to be “God in skin,” working to restore the relationship between God and humans. So, if he was God, why did he need to learn? I don’t really know. But I do know that if Jesus spent time learning about God, I surely need to!
Ann Whitfield Carter
God, as I spend this year being a student at school, may I also be a student of your ways. I pray that my learning not just fill my head with knowledge of history or science or math. May it also flood my heart and my spirit with knowledge of God. Amen.
Go out into your day to be a learner
Open your eyes and your ears
Open your mind and your heart
Open your hands
To God’s amazing world
To God’s amazing people
Be surprised by what you discover
And never stop learning