Good morning. For the first eight years of my education I was a pupil at one of the first ever schools for girls. The Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh was founded in 1694.
It was nearly 70 years later that the Sunday School Movement began, with schools for boys who worked in the factories the other six days. One of the early goals of these schools was to teach children to read so they could read the Bible. The founders saw that boys were falling foul of the law. They reasoned that prevention would be better than cure for the vices that ensnared them. By 1831, Sunday Schools were teaching more than a million children, about a quarter of the British population.
Like St Paul in his letter to Timothy, these early educators believed ‘Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.’
Jesus himself was a teacher. He promised that he would send his Holy Spirit to teach and guide us once he returned to his Father after the resurrection. He promised, ‘The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’
This type of education is not reading, writing and arithmetic, but, as St Paul told the Colossian church, it is ‘wisdom and understanding’ – today we might call it emotional intelligence – Holy Spirit inspired teaching that helps us to live productive lives.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Please give Holy Spirit-inspired wisdom to all those in education today. May teachers and pupils, lecturers and students be inspired to live fruitful lives. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.