Dear Christian educators,
The verse says, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." If you reverse the order, it says, "Live peaceably with all, if possible, so far as it depends on you." Either way, what is our responsibility? Yes, you guessed it. We are to initiate peace if we are followers of Christ. It's so difficult when others are not trying. As I write to you, our neighbors have allowed their dog to bark incessantly for the last two hours. It was such a peaceful evening with exceptional weather, but suddenly we had to come in, shut all the windows and we can still hear the dog. Yet, this Scripture rings out, "if possible, so far as it depends on me....." In the meantime, Air Pods and headsets are amazing inventions!
Each day during this season of Lent, I will post one verse and pray it with you. Consider saying the verse in your quiet time and praying it also. You may use the same prayer or try your own. Each day until Easter (except Sundays) there will be a new post that contains: a verse, a small reflection, a prayer using the Scripture and an image. Feel free to share the images because I made them with the Bible Lens app and took all the pictures. What a creative God we serve!
Romans 12:18 English Standard Version (ESV)
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
On the school scene, this verse is very important. As the adult Christians on campus we have a special charge to live peaceably with our students, colleagues and parents. What do we do when the angry parents shows up? What do we do when a student is out of control? What happens when our administrators or colleagues are fired up and we lose our sense of peace? How we react is critical? If we snap back, no one would blame us and in fact, there may even be a little cheering section. If we give them what they deserve, we become the judge and jury. As Christian educators, if possible, so far as it depends on us, we have to react peacefully. That clause doesn't let us off the hook when it seems impossible because our testimony needs to be guarded. They know we are Christians by our love. As impossible as it seems, we can live peaceably in an environment that is the total opposite. That's where the Holy Spirit will have to do it for us.
If possible, Lord? Is it ever possible to live peaceably among those who are not peaceful? You said, so far as it depends on us. I am not capable of being peaceful on my own. Send the Holy Spirit to all your people in the public schools as a sign of Your intervention because with us it is impossible. Help us to show those who are angry, distressed, depressed or violent that there is a better way when you know Jesus. Oh Lord, we love You so much. Grant us peace. We ask in the peaceful Name of Jesus. Amen.
The CIPE Team