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  • Writer's pictureDevoted Educator

Peace Always By All Means

Read: 1 - 2 Thessalonians

The Christmas season is upon us. Some of us are already enjoying breaks from school while others of us are working with our students and colleagues to wrap up the first semester. Consider our students. Some of them cannot wait to dance out of the schoolhouse doors while, on the other hand, some of them are experiencing the bittersweet melancholy that comes with leaving friends, trusted teachers, and sometimes even warm meals behind at school. Approaching and during seasons that we spend time away from the school community, praying for the peace and comfort of our community can help ease transitions for everyone.

The 1st and 2nd epistles to the Thessalonians contain letters from Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus to the church in Thessalonica. These letters are framed with good tidings, thanksgiving, and prayers for peace. After preliminary greetings and thanksgiving at the beginning of each letter, Paul et al. share that they pray for the Thessalonians, writing, "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers"(1 Thessalonians 1:2) and "Where also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). In closure of each letter, they write of peace, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly" (1 Thessalonians 5:23) and "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means" (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

Except for select educators in the private arena, many of us typically refrain from proselytizing the ideals of our Christian faith in the classroom. However, even when limited by our roles in the public sphere, we can seek to provide a peaceful classroom culture for our students, especially leading up to breaks and coming back from breaks, being sensitive to the general and diverse levels of anxiety that people tend to experience during seasonal shifts. In addition to fostering an atmosphere of serenity in our classrooms, we can also pray for our students and school communities during these times. Despite the miles between them, Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus were in prayer for peace and well being of the Thessalonians. Physically spending time on break from our school communities in the work capacity does not mean that we have to spiritually break from them.

Have you considered ways to bring peace and cheer to your classroom or school on your students' last days before break? On their first days back from break? Are you praying for the spiritual, physical, and emotional well being of your students and colleagues?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for being a present light in our lives. Please guide us to make choices that reflect your light and peace. Please bless our school communities with the peace that only you can provide and with a spirit that guides our students and colleagues to experience and recognize your grace and love. We pray to you in the power and glory of your son, Jesus. Amen.

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