Last week saw the beginning of Lent, a season of 40 days leading up to the celebration of Easter. There are quite a few different ways in which Christians approach this season. From serious prayer and fasting to giving up chocolate or some other favourite food, or even making a special effort to do something extra that they would not normally do.
The idea behind these practices is to bring about an increased awareness of how we follow Christ on a daily basis. For me personally, this year during Lent, I have decided to study more closely, the life and teachings of Jesus and to use this as a way of challenging myself and examining and possibly changing my life in light of the example of the way Jesus lived.
As we look towards Easter and the wonderful gift of what He did for us by dying on the cross, we can look also at the way he taught his disciples on living the best kind of life now.
Here in the Northside Christian College community, the students and staff spend a great deal of their lives together. Every child spends 7 hours a day for 13 years with essentially the same group of classmates and teachers. This can be a wonderful thing but it also can be a challenge. In order for this community experience to work, we all have to make sacrifices.
Many of Jesus’ teachings were about how we treat our neighbour. One in particular explored the question of “who is my neighbour?”. If you “google” that phrase, you are most likely to be led to the parable of the Good Samaritan. When Jesus told this parable, his listeners were most likely horrified by the end of it when they realized that their neighbour is someone who they had always thought of as their enemy.
This is often our challenge. Not just to be a good friend to the people we like, but to go beyond this and reach out to those we would rather not talk to or even be near. I’m sure each and every one of us can think of someone who fits this category in our own lives. Jesus was clear in his teaching that the way to a godly life and a thriving community was to look to the other’s needs before our own. This is never easy, but when we follow this teaching, the results are amazing.
I was so encouraged this week to see this in action in our school as our Year 10 students put their own agendas on hold to reach out and speak into our Year 7 students lives as part of their resiliency day. A big thanks to Mr Phil Waters, Mr Jared Stocks, Ms Fiona Dumitrache and Ms Jo Westland for the tireless work they put in to make this day happen. We all have the opportunity every day to reach out and be a good neighbour to someone in our community. Let’s look for those opportunities as we journey through the season of Lent together and I am sure we will see our school community shine more brightly with each new day.
Northside Christian College
31 McLeans Rd, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia
Phone: 03 9467 2499