Robert sent me two takes on the Beatitudes, both of which I have published below. The first is a spoof, but the second is most wonderful, irrespective of whatever faith one might profess, or not profess. Truth is truth in any form, and we can always use a reminder to not let go the hand of truth as we walk through these compelling and often mind boggling things that we call our careers in education.
Here is the first one, the spoof, which, were it not so spot on in describing what education has become, would be easier to laugh at. Oh well…
The Beatitudes for Educators [WARNING: Satire!]
Then Jesus took his disciples up on the mountain and gathered them around Him. And then He taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Blessed are the meek,
Blessed are the merciful,
Blessed are you who thirst for justice,
Blessed are you who are persecuted,
Blessed are the peacemakers.”
And Simon Peter said, “Do we have to write this stuff down?”
And Philip said, “Will this be on the test?”
And Andrew said, “John the Baptist’s disciples don’t have to learn this stuff.”
And Matthew said, “Huh?”
And Judas said, “When am I ever going to use this in real life?”
Then one of the Pharisees, an expert in law, said, “I don’t see any of this in the syllabus. Do you have a lesson plan? Is there an activity for each of the seven intelligences? Where is the study guide? Will there be any authentic assessment? Will remediation and extra credit be provided for those who did not meet class requirements so they can still pass?”
And Thomas, who had missed the sermon, came to Jesus privately and said, “Did we do anything important today?”
And Jesus wept.
[ed. note” My personal opinion is that Jesus would never have wept there. I think he would have had a good laugh and sent those boys back into action. That’s just my opinion, though.]
Ben, I’m sending along something my pastor wrote and shared a few years ago.
Beatitudes for Educators
By Donald Shoemaker, Senior Pastor
Grace Community Church of Seal Beach, California
(Reprinted from the Long Beach Press-Telegram, October 2, 2007)
My congregation has many people who serve in the field of education one way or another. I honor them for their character and the quality and skill of their work. These are people to whom we may confidently entrust the precious lives of our children for wisdom and instruction.
Each September we set aside time during Sunday services to recognize and pray for these people. This year, as we prayed for them, I read the “Beatitudes” of Jesus (Matthew 5:1-12) to the congregation with a special application to educators that I prepared. Truly these people are models of the “salt” and “light” Jesus calls us all to be in our world. Here are these “Beatitudes.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
So, blessed are you…when your frustration level is so high and your human resources so low that you realize you must turn to God for renewed strength. “Blessed are those who mourn.”
So, blessed are you…when your heart is broken over how cruel people can be to other people and over how little children can become innocent victims of violence, even to the shedding of blood. Blessed are you when you grieve over the children who come to school with the deck already stacked against them because their house is not a home and they have no real role models or incentives for being good.
“Blessed are the gentle.”
So, blessed are you…when you turn the other cheek, walk the second mile and continue to work with patience in a situation, even when it seems just about impossible.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
So, blessed are you…when your frustration over the lack of learned values, moral standards and discipline make you want to chuck it all, but you stay committed to your education task as a calling from God and you don’t forget the importance of your own moral nourishment.
“Blessed are the merciful.”
So, blessed are you…when you reach out your hand to a child desperately needing love and care and concern and assistance, who may not find it from anyone other than you.
“Blessed are the pure in heart.”
So, blessed are you…when you maintain your moral standards in the face of temptations to cut ethical corners and when others see you take your stand on principle, no matter the cost to you.
“Blessed are the peacemakers.”
So, blessed are you…when you intervene in the cause of peace, even at personal risk, and help children who don’t like each other to learn at least how to live civilly with each other and to practice the “Golden Rule.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.”
So, blessed are you…if you are ever belittled or have to put your reputation or career on the line and pay a price for following the best values.
In all this God is well pleased with all you do and, in the end, that’s what really counts.
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could