Master Teaching

a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher

Song for a New Day

SunshineThe morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.[1]

In their twilight years, Zechariah and Elizabeth were filled with good things. Yahweh’s long silence ended in answered prayer; the childless became full. As their personal darkness came to a close, Zechariah became a lightbearer and sang the dawning of a new day. The birth of their son would prepare the way for Birth, and we who walk in darkness would see a great light.[2]

On one of LEAPAsia’s book deliveries, I saw this slogan on a library wall: Life without books is like a world without sunshine. I like to think of our book donations as bearing light. We’re feeding the hungry with knowledge and filling the darkness of difficult circumstances with a gift of love.

Yet, in order to lighten their darkness, these children need more than books. They’re stuck because of limited resources including a wanting education system. They face challenges, some of them prejudice, because of their poverty, ethnicity, gender, or disability. What they need is intangibles offered in a tangible relationship. To hear the morning song on the lips of a fan, mentor, or an adopted family. The songs of freedom and reversal from an advocate in this world and before the throne.

But intangibles do no good when essentials are lacking. I’ve read books to children who seemed too hungry to listen,[3] too far from the classroom’s one small coal-burning stove to concentrate, too browbeaten by teachers to receive love and light.

And as some of my friends have so poignantly and personally expressed, essentials do no good if life is snuffed out before light can shine.

Thankful [for] compassion and [help for] refugees when my family RISKED their LIVES to flee war. After multiple attempts, floating across a river, getting SHOT at, not knowing how to swim, to finally wait in refugee camps for a chance to come to America. My grandma told us a story once of hiding up in a tree with her sister so they wouldn’t get RAPED by soldiers and then had to watch her brother get killed because he didn’t reveal their location. Because they were welcomed to Iowa, she was able to live peacefully and help raise all her grandkids. After experiencing all she did, I can’t help but think of how blessed she was that now as she lays on her deathbed, she is warm. Safe. Loved. With a house full of kids and grandkids. (Mirinda Cole, November 17, 2015)

VandennWould I have turned 41 years old this weekend had my family and I had to stay in Cambodia or the refugee camps in Thailand? I don’t know that answer because in 1980 we were given permission to come to the United States. My chances of living grew exponentially. (Vandenn Krouch, September 19, 2015)

Light of lights, descend from the realms of endless day. Sing a new day here. Warm up classrooms and camps with safety and love. Shine out from every page of every book, from every piece of donated clothing, every meal and cup of clean water. Fill the emptiness with good things. Clear away the darkness of fear. Guide us all—from every tribe and tongue, every religion—to Your path of peace.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of light descendeth
from the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish

as the darkness clears away.
[4]


[1] Luke 1:78-79, New Living Translation.
[2] Isaiah 9:2
[3] Thankfully, the government has instituted a free lunch program that helps.
[4] From “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.”

Further exploration

What’s your perspective?

  • What goes in the blank for your students: Life without ___ is like a world with sunshine? How do you fill them up?
  • How do you sing the song for a new day to your students?

Post Author

Melissa K. Smith

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This entry was posted on December 16, 2015 by in blessing the ignored and forgotten, light, Melissa K. Smith, new birth.

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