Although it’s only August, a new year is about to begin. Students and teachers everywhere are gearing up for a brand new season of learning and teaching.
New beginnings of any kind can be challenging, exhilarating, and nerve-racking all at the same time. There are hopes, fears, and expectations. Relationships are renewed. Goals are set. School supplies are purchased. Bulletin boards are created. Lesson plans are written down. School clothes are attained. Everything old is new again.
A new school year is a chance to start with a clean white board and a newly waxed floor. It’s a chance to choreograph the first steps of the years’ dance. It’s a chance to write the opening paragraph of the years’ novel with the best adjectives available.
Two biblical descriptions of the beginning of space and time surprisingly lack adjectives. They are simple and straight-forward:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
They are begging for adjectives, but the Lord sees no need to provide them. Yet what flows out of Genesis 1:1 is one big description of God’s plan for His newly created universe. What flows out of John 1:1 is one big description of God’s plan for the salvation of fallen people.
The whole Bible is one big description of God’s love and grace for humankind. Amongst those pages are countless adjectives describing the God of the universe who lives to love and who is love.
It’s a great thought as you encounter any beginning: The God who is beyond description is present right from the start. With Him all things are new. Under Him all things are clean. Through Him all things are white as snow.
This year, as our school’s teachers come together for their first meeting, I’m going to encourage them to choose an adjective that describes God. They will use those adjectives to:
- Create a piece of art using that word to display in her or his classroom
- Use that word as a springboard for teaching the presence of God in the classroom
- Evaluate the way God is working in the classroom, particularly under that adjectival attribute
- Intentionally remember the work of God in and through His people each day
- Begin the year new, clean, and white under a God who defies description…
…And yet was described perfectly in the person and work of the God-Man Jesus Christ who gave His life for the sins of the world.
What suggestion do you have for getting off to a great start?