May 13, 2018
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Thought for the Week: John 17:6-19

I am asking on their behalf… those whom you gave me, because they are yours. (John 17:9)

In this beautiful prayer from Jesus, we are reminded that all that we have is from God, especially the young lives we work with every day. We don’t always know the circumstances that bring these little ones into our schools, but we know that they are given to us by God. We don’t always know where they will go when they leave our classrooms, but we do know God’s sustaining love and power will be with them wherever they end up.
It is important to note that Jesus doesn’t pray that his followers be taken out of the world, but that they are protected and sanctified. This is a difficult perspective to keep in mind, especially when we love and care for children on a daily basis. We wish we could take them out of the situations that will cause them pain, hurt, and fear, but we can’t. We also wish the children and people we work with could be perfect, but they aren’t. What we can do is remember that God who holds them close and it is God who will protect them. God is in the work of sanctification, not perfection. Sanctification means being made, or becoming holy. When we recognize God’s sanctifying work in the world and in the lives of those we care for, we are reoriented to God’s power and God’s faithfulness. With this perspective, we live in faith of who God is and respond accordingly, with love and care for all of God’s creation.
Questions for the Week:
Think back over your time working with children. How many children have you worked with over the years? How many lives has God touched through you? What is something you can do today to acknowledge all of these lives in a way that celebrates them and celebrates you?
Personal Prayer for the Week:
Look over your current list of students and take time praying individually for each of them. Pray as Jesus prayed – for unity (11), protection (15), sanctity (17), sending (18), and truth (19).  Pray for yourself, your protection, and that God sanctifies your work.

This devotion was written for the ELEA’s Devotional Guide for the 2017-2018 school year. The ELEA is an association of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Schools and Learning Centers.

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