Is your child being educated in a private school? Maybe they are in a public school but have a teacher Keeping-Ash-Wednesday-Specialthat is of the Christian faith. Perhaps you have a teacher in your family or a friend who is a teacher. Even if you homeschool the teacher deserves a gift now and then. Most teachers decide on this profession because it is truly a calling. It’s just who they are and what they love doing because they were designed by God with talents and abilities well suited for this profession. They are very likely trying to faithfully walk the life path that God planned for them. They work with the parents of their students to prepare our children for their perspective futures. Wouldn’t it be nice to show some extra appreciation by surprising a teacher Ash Wednesday?

But I don’t particularly like this teacher

Perfect! This is a great opportunity to show love to someone who you don’t necessarily perceive as lovely.

Matthew 25:45 (1599 Geneva Bible)  Then shall he answer them, and say, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Certainly, if we are to love our neighbors and our enemies and bless those who curse and use us we can find it in our hearts to show love to and pray for a teacher who is making an attempt to educate our children. Maybe there is some struggle the teacher is going through that you aren’t aware of. Maybe they’re having some difficulty because their faith is weak right now and they could use something to help get them back on track. Maybe they need to know what they do isn’t being taken for granted and that someone cares, really cares. Why not use the first day of lent to encourage them? Who knows you may become friends.

What is lent for anyway?

Isn’t this a time for us to search into our hearts, our thoughts, our attitudes and what motivates us to make the choices we have to make every day? Have you chosen to pray for your child’s teacher? Do you include other school staff into even a quick prayer as your child heads off to school? Start by praying for your teacher Ash Wednesday and consider making it a new school year tradition with your family. Spending just a couple of minutes each school-day with your child praying for their school and staff. It’s a perfect time to help the teacher in your life grow in their faith with a small but life-changing gift.

The Best way to teach is to practice what you preach

As parents, we are mandated to teach our children to be strong in their faith. We know that actions do speak louder than words. As we do kind things we are showing by example that our faith is important to us and they will come to respect that. This helps our children to become deeply grounded in their own faith walk. The earlier we start and the more consistent we are the deeper it becomes ingrained within who they are as well.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (1599 Geneva Bible) Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as a frontlet between your eyes, And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Here are a few suggestions

604608: Lead Us Not Into Temptation: A Daily Study in Loyalty for Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday Lead Us Not Into Temptation: A Daily Study in Loyalty for Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday
By Martin Shannonhttp://

Editorial Reviews – “I will be using Lead Us Not Into Temptation for Lent, not only because it is filled with wisdom on a topic not often contemplated, but because the format—short but weighty daily entries, spiked with insights from Bonhoeffer—is ideal for the introspection which the season invites. As Martin rightly says, temptation not only can turn us, but it can teach us so that we come to Eastertide more spiritually healthy than we were on Ash Wednesday.” —Rev. Canon Dr. Dennis Okholm, Professor of Theology, Azusa Pacific University; author of Monk Habits for Everyday People

 

617732: According to Your Mercy: Praying with the Psalms from Ash Wednesday to Easter According to Your Mercy: Praying with the Psalms from Ash Wednesday to Easter
By Martin ShannonAccording to Your Mercy by Fr. Martin Shannon, an Episcopal priest, contains forty-seven reflections on the Psalms, one for each of the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter. For each day of the Lenten season, you will also find insightful commentary from Church Fathers including Augustine, Jerome, Leo the Great, and Tertullian.

Many have called the psalms a ’school of prayer’ and indeed St. Augustine in his Confessions wrote that the psalms could be a stepping stone to deeper conversation with God. These ancient words from Scripture mirror our own thoughts and emotions—celebration and praise, suffering and lament, gratitude and asking for help—as relevant today as when they were first sung in the Temple.

Fr. Martin Shannon brings deep teaching as well as the personal encounter of someone who has chanted and studied the Psalms for years. Each reflection is on one psalm, offering a meditation on its meaning and how it connects to our lives, followed by a word from one of the ancient church fathers and a prayer. There is a reflection for each of the forty-seven days from Ash Wednesday to Easter that reflect the various twists and turns on the Lenten journey.

Readers will discover the power of the psalms to inspire their own Lenten journey towards Easter.

642661: Journeying Through Lent with Matthew: Daily Meditations Journeying Through Lent with Matthew: Daily Meditations
By Andrew RognessIn this devotional, meditations for each day between Ash Wednesday and Easter focus on passages from the Gospel of Matthew. Using this book as a guide, readers will work their way through the entire Gospel, probing its meaning. Reflection questions and a prayer with each reading encourage readers to consider the passage’s signifigance for their lives.

Bible readings followed by commentary and the addition of reflection questions and prayer. This is a good meditation resource. I purchased this book with no particular expectations except to have a daily reading for Lent. How pleasantly surprised I’ve been! I am not finished yet but I wanted to write a review to say how much I am enjoying it. The book is not preachy and does not presume to have all the answers. It offers insights and suggests questions from passages in Matthew. I’m enjoying reading passages first, reflecting on the parts that speak to me, then reading what the author has to say about the passages he chooses to discuss. I see there are other books that are similar. I plan to get one of those for next Lent.

You benefit from blessing a teacher Ash Wednesday too

Teachers spend their days showing our children how to gain knowledge and skill. Now is the perfect time to show appreciation to our teachers by helping them grow stronger in their faith. As we walk in obedience to the scriptures in giving and sharing kindness to others we will in return receive a blessing in our own lives from our Lord. It’s a great way to teach your children that it truly is more blessed to give and that blessings come back to us because of our obedience.

I would like to know your thoughts and if you found this helpful or inspiring. Please share what you think with me below.

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