One of my all-time favorite bumper stickers reads, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” Can you even imagine the thousands of hours that a small army of caring adults spent with you so that you could learn to decode the symbols on a page? make sense of an array of numbers? learn the intricacies of musical notation?
I know that in theory people could read the Bible all by themselves, be brought to faith, and grow to Christian maturity self-taught. In theory, yes, but I have never met any real person like that. I personally have benefitted from hundreds of Christian teachers who shared their insights, experience, passion, talents, scholarly work, and stories and helped me develop my faith and understanding. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. . . . If it is teaching, let him teach” (Romans 12:6,7).
Some teachers have the extra patience needed to work with preschoolers in Sunday school. Some bring great depth and scholarship to college-level studies. Some saints actually love mentoring teenagers. Some are linguistic whizzes who lead seminary students into the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament. And some have the special gift of opening up the Word to senior citizens.
Holy Spirit, thank you for our teachers. They are your gifts to us!
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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