Education Sunday 2015 draws on ideas rooted in the Feast of Candlemas, which marks the presentation of Jesus for baptism at the Temple in Jerusalem. The resource writers suggest that education is about “discerning the potential in people and helping them to realize that potential”.
Leith Fisher’s hymn Says Jesus, ‘Come and gather round’ (StF 510) follows the example of Jesus (e.g. Mark 10: 13-16) by turning the tables and reminding us what we all have to learn from the lives and questions of younger children as they grow and seek their full potential. “When was it that we first forgot that questions helped us grow?” he asks. His response (v.3):
Christ points to gifts that children bring,
the searching heart and lively mind
which let God’s kingdom grow in those
who seek until they find.
Also in this section, see:
Other hymns suitable for Education Sunday
The prophets’ voice comes down the years to teach and to inspire (StF 162) echoes the teacher’s call to
translate the things gone by
in ways that we find new
so we can judge the world we know
by standards ever true.
That call is supported by Martin Leckebusch’s reminder that we can use our gifts in many ways, whether “in government or commerce, college, hospice, farm or home” (Called by Christ to be disciples, StF 660). Similarly, see Lord, you call us to your service (StF 664) by Marjorie Dobson.
Finally, John Bell and Graham Maule hint at the biblical connections between the Holy Spirit and the gift of wisdom, in a hymn that also delights in the female imagery often associated with God’s Spirit. She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters (StF 393) weaves together language entirely appropriate to our thinking about teaching and teachers: “she weans and inspires all whose hearts are open” (v.3) and “she nests in the womb, welcoming each widener, nourishing potential hidden to our eyes” (v.2).