First Sunday of Advent Lectionary Readings: Jer 33:14-16, Ps. 25:1-10, 1 Thess. 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36
On the first Sunday of advent, and on day 5 of the 16 day campaign to of activism against gender-based violence, we are reminded and instructed on the importance of teachers. One factor contributing to the violence against girl students is teacher absenteeism. Harvard and World Bank researchers conducted unannounced visits to primary schools in rural India. Due to a number of factors, they found a quarter of the teachers absent and only half of those present were actually working. Education can only happen if we invest in recruiting, supporting and empowering teachers. Without proper supervision and instruction, schools and students (especially female students) suffer.
Psalm 25:1-10 is a prayer that depicts God as an exemplary teacher:
Teachers are trustworthy (v2)
Teachers do not allow their students to be put to shame (v3)
Teachers are leaders in truth (v5)
Teachers are mindful of mercy (v6)
Teachers are forgiving (v7)
Teachers instruct the humble in what is right (v9)
Today we pray for the many teachers in the world. Their lessons prepare the eyes and ears of students to correctly perceive the seasons of life. Their mindfulness reminds the unaware to be alert at all times. Their commitment to truth restores justice and righteousness in the land.