Shopping Mall as Cathedral

Imagine that we are alien researchers from Mars who have come to the strange world of Planet Earth to study the rituals and religious habits of its inhabitants. Imagine that we are going to visit one of our 21st century culture’s most common religious sites. This is what James K. A. (Jamie) Smith invites readers of his book, Desiring the Kingdom,[1] to do. Let’s accompany him as he approaches the site. It is not a church or temple … and yet it is!

As we approach, we notice that the site is very popular. It is “throbbing with pilgrims every day of the week”. The entrances to the site are “framed by banners and flags, familiar texts and symbols” and just inside there is “a large map – a kind of worship aid” to help the novice to find the “various spiritual offerings”.  The “regulars” don’t need the maps because they are “the faithful, who enter the space with a sense of achieved familiarity, who know the rhythms by heart because of habit-forming repetition”.

We notice the design of the interior of the site. There are windows on the high ceiling but none on the walls. This “conveys a sense of vertical and transcendent openness that at the same time shuts off the clamor and distractions of the horizontal, mundane world …(and) offers a feeling of sanctuary, retreat, and escape”. We find that it “almost seems as if … we lose consciousness of time’s passing and so lose ourselves in the rituals for which we’ve come”.

Like medieval cathedrals, the mall has “mammoth religious spaces … alongside of which are innumerable chapels devoted to various saints”. Instead of stained-glass windows, there is “an array of three-dimensional icons adorned in garb that—as with all iconography—inspires us to be imitators of these exemplars”. They embody for us “concrete images of ‘the good life’ …embodied pictures of the redeemed that invite us to imagine ourselves in their shoes”.

As we enter a side chapel, we are “greeted by a welcoming acolyte who offers to shepherd us through the experience, but also has the wisdom to allow us to explore on our own terms”. After a time spent browsing among the racks, “with our newfound holy object in hand, we proceed to the altar, which is the consummation of worship” where we find “the priest who presides over the consummating transaction … of exchange and communion”.

We leave “this transformative experience … with newly minted relics, as it were, that are themselves the means to the good life … something with solidity that is wrapped in the colors and symbols of the saints and the season”.

Like all good teachers, Jamie Smith is concerned to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. He wants us to see the experience of the shopping mall with new eyes “in order for us to recognize the charged, religious nature of cultural institutions that we all tend to inhabit as if they were neutral sites”. Our desires are being shaped, our hearts are being formed, by the mall and “its ‘parachurch’ extensions in television and advertising”.

The point that he is trying to make is that human beings are worshippers. The question is not whether or not we worship but who or what we worship, who or what we love in our hearts. We have to have gods if God is missing from our lives.

Neil Postman says that consumerism is one of these gods. (He lists others, including nationalism, reason, science, and technology.). He says that the basic moral axiom of consumerism is expressed in the slogan “Whoever dies with the most toys wins”.[2] You are what you accumulate.

One of the most famous photographs of photographic artist Barbara Kruger proclaimed “I shop therefore I am”.

The god of reason says, “I think therefore I am” (cogito ergo sum). The god of consumerism says, “Tesco ergo sum”!

The God and Father of the Lord Jesus says that we are because he is.

Gracious loving Father, God who is love, please help us to always have the desires of our hearts shaped by you so that we may worship, serve and love you above all and we may help others to come to you and love you too above all. Amen.

P.S. If you would like to be notified when new blogs are posted, please email me through the contact address on this website or message me if you have come here via a link posted on Facebook.


[1] Desiring the Kingdom, pp. 19ff. See also here.

[2] The End of Education, p. 33.

Missing God

‘Missing God’ is a very moving poem by Dennis O’Driscoll. I’m going to quote it in full and then I’ll link it with a recent very surprising statement by Richard Dawkins, the well-known evangelist for atheism.

It was in a book by an Englishman who has made his home in Scotland that I first came across this poem. It was by an Irishman of whom I had never heard even though he was from Thurles which is less than twenty five miles from where I was brought up. (The book was David Smith’s Moving Towards Emmaus.) O’Driscoll was a friend of Seamus Heaney and one of his books is a set of interviews with Heaney entitled Stepping Stones. (You can see and hear them in conversation here.) Following O’Driscoll’s sudden death in 2012, Heaney entitled a tribute to him ‘My Hero: Dennis O’Driscoll’.

Here is the poem, Missing God:

His grace is no longer called for
before meals: farmed fish multiply
without His intercession.
Bread production rises through
disease-resistant grains devised
scientifically to mitigate His faults.

Yet, though we rebelled against Him
like adolescents, uplifted to see
an oppressive father banished –
a bearded hermit – to the desert,
we confess to missing Him at times.

Miss Him during the civil wedding
when, at the blossomy altar
of the registrar’s desk, we wait in vain
to be fed a line containing words
like “everlasting” and “divine”.

Miss Him when the TV scientist
explains the cosmos through equations,
leaving our planet to revolve on its axis
aimlessly, a wheel skidding in snow.

Miss Him when the radio catches a snatch
of plainchant from some echoey priory;
when the gospel choir raises its collective voice
to ask Shall We Gather at the River?
or the forces of the oratorio converge
on I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
and our contracted hearts lose a beat.

Miss Him when a choked voice
at the crematorium recites the poem
about fearing no more the heat of the sun.

Miss Him when we stand in judgment
on a lank Crucifixion in an art museum,
its stripe-like ribs testifying to rank.

Miss Him when the gamma-rays
recorded on the satellite graph
seem arranged into a celestial score,
the music of the spheres,
the Ave Verum Corpus of the observatory lab.

Miss Him when we stumble on the breast lump
for the first time and an involuntary prayer
escapes our lips; when a shadow crosses
our bodies on an x-ray screen; when we receive
a transfusion of foaming blood
sacrificed anonymously to save life.

Miss Him when we call out His name
spontaneously in awe or anger
as a woman in the birth ward bawls
her long-dead mother’s name.

Miss Him when the linen-covered
dining table holds warm bread rolls,
shiny glasses of red wine.

Miss Him when a dove swoops
from the orange grove in a tourist village
just as the monastery bell begins to take its toll.

Miss Him when our journey leads us under
leaves of Gothic tracery, an arch
of overlapping branches that meet
like hands in Michelangelo’s creation.

Miss Him when, trudging past a church,
we catch a residual blast of incense,
a perfume on par with the fresh-baked loaf
which Milosz compared to happiness.

Miss Him when our newly-decorated kitchen
comes in Shaker-style and we order
a matching set of Mother Ann Lee chairs.

Miss Him when we listen to the prophecy
of astronomers that the visible galaxies
will recede as the universe expands.

Miss Him the way an uncoupled glider
riding the evening thermals misses its tug.

Miss Him, as the lovers shrugging
shoulders outside the cheap hotel
ponder what their next move should be.

Even feel nostalgic, odd days,
for His Second Coming,
like standing in the brick
dome of a dovecote
after the birds have flown.

In his book, after quoting this poem, David Smith writes, “Here, surely, is the authentic language of the Emmaus road experience, of those who tread a path from which God has gone missing, and yet confess that as the sky darkens and the air grows cold, they are missing God” (p. 29).

Richard Dawkins was recently reported as saying he feared that if religion were abolished it would “give people a licence to do really bad things”. He said that security camera surveillance of customers in shops did appear to deter shoplifting, adding that people might feel free to do wrong without a “divine spy camera in the sky reading their every thought”. He went on, “People may feel free to do bad things because they feel God is no longer watching them”.[1]

By the entrance to our local Morrisons store there is a life-sized picture of a policeman looking at you and smiling, albeit with handcuffs visible hanging by his side. It certainly makes one feel that one is being watched!

The policeman has a friendly and welcoming smile. I think the God of Dennis O’Driscoll’s poem has a welcoming smile but the god of Richard Dawkin’s writings doesn’t. In a book of over 400 pages, The God Delusion, Dawkins devotes just three to the subject of love (pp. 184-186). Yes, there is a lot of evil and suffering in our world (and, as Dawkins frequently points out, people who profess to believe in God have contributed and do contribute their share to it!) but isn’t it amazing that we can also find love everywhere and often in the most surprising places? Is there any other possible source of it all but the God and Father of Jesus Christ?

Jesus cried from the cross with what Dennis O’Driscoll calls “stripe-like ribs” saying, “Father, forgive them”. Risen from the grave, he stands with open arms and a welcoming smile saying, ““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” (Matthew 11:28, The Message)

Gracious loving Father, God who is love, please forgive us when so often we go off on our own and you go missing from our lives. May those who are missing you find you and your love in us. Amen.

P.S. If you would like to be notified when new blogs are posted, please email me through the contact address on this website or message me if you have come here via a link posted on Facebook.


[1] ‘Ending religion is a bad idea, says Richard Dawkins’, The Times, 5 October 2019.

Working Together in Synergy

Paddy and Bartley were two horses behind whom my father would plough the fields on the home farm in Ireland. Paddy was an old and disciplined animal but Bartley was young and headstrong. When my father was ploughing, Bartley sometimes wanted to pull the plough in a different direction from Paddy. When this happened, my father had to work very hard to get them to pull together in the same direction. At other times, Paddy and Bartley worked happily together and progress with the ploughing was so much easier then.

Synergy is a combined effect which is greater than the sum of individual effects. Two horses working together can pull rather more than twice what one horse can pull alone. My father sometimes enjoyed the effect of synergy between his horses but all too often it was lacking and he would come home exhausted by his efforts to promote it.

The Greek word ‘sunergeo’ is used several times in the New Testament in verses that talk about ‘fellow-workers’, “co-workers” and ‘working together’. For example, 1 Corinthians 3:9 reads “We are co-workers in God’s service”. Some of these verses even suggest that we can be co-workers with God himself, we can work synergistically with him and he with us!

An oft-quoted verse in Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” (Matthew 11:29, NIV). The image here is probably not of horses but of oxen yoked together to work together.

Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrases the verse this way: “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

This has implications for us in our daily lives in our work-places. We need to walk with him and learn from him. We also need to walk and work with others. Those of us who teach easily come to see ourselves as queens and kings in our own classrooms and I expect the same kind of thing is true in other workplaces. We do not like to have others observing our work closely. We may be having problems but we tend to pretend to others that everything is all right at our desk or in our classroom.

A partner relationship with another colleague can be very helpful to both. We can commit ourselves to share the highs and the lows, to observe one another’s ways of working and expose our own practice to the scrutiny of the other, to work together to find new and better ways of doing things. We are not really self-sufficient, we need one another. Why pretend to be perfect?! Why not be vulnerable? What have we to lose except our pride?!

O God of all might and energy, as workers together with you and you with us, we ask that you will help us to admit our need of others and to work better together with them and that we will help those with whom we work to discover more synergy in working together too. Amen.

P.S. If you would like to be notified when new blogs are posted, please email me through the contact address on this website or message me if you have come here via a link that I posted on Facebook.

Green Spaces in Time

At the start of a new year, the writings of three friends of mine have come together to make me think about green spaces in towns and cities and our need for metaphorical green spaces in the busy ebbs and flows of our lives.

David Smith posted a blog on New Year’s Eve in which he quoted Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel, from his book The Sabbath, pointing out that “in the Bible time is not just a succession of intervals. Rather it is shaped into significant ebbs and flows that shape experience of the world”. Heschel put it this way:

“Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time. Unlike the space-minded man to whom time is unvaried, iterative, homogeneous, to whom all hours are alike, quality-less, empty shells, the Bible senses the diversified character of time. There are no two hours alike. Every hour is unique and the only one given at the moment, exclusive and endlessly precious…Jewish ritual may be characterized as the art of significant forms in time, as architecture of time.”[1]

The phrase ‘architecture of time’ intrigued David and it leaped out from the page to me too. I had been reading Curriculum Planning with Design Language, a great new book by Ken Badley. It is written for teachers but I think it has implications for all the projects that we plan in the workplace or home. Ken takes the design philosophy of architect Christopher Alexander as his starting-point and he proposes ten design principles for our projects. They include ‘centres’, ‘boundaries’, ‘entrances and exits’, ‘coherence and connections’, … but the one that Heschel’s talk of ‘architecture of time’ made me think about was Ken’s seventh principle – ‘green spaces’.

Ken talks about the quiet backs of Oxford colleges as paradigm examples of the breathing spaces that cities and towns need and goes on to define green spaces in our working lives as “activities people engage in that are very likely different from work”. Heschel encourages us to think of time not as something that simply and remorselessly flows by but as something that we shape just as architects shape buildings and their environments … and he does it in a book entitled The Sabbath! The green spaces that we should design into our work projects (or our plans for 2020) are the sabbaths, the jubilees, the resting-places, the coffee-breaks that give us opportunity to breathe in the stillness, the greenery, the sounds of the metaphorical park or garden!

The third friend is actually a student of mine from Dublin who is presently writing an essay for a module on the theology of work. He it was who a few weeks ago introduced me to Heschel’s ideas and he has effectively convinced me that any such module should have at its heart a theology of rest. My curriculum for the module needs not only the breaks that I provide for in classroom sessions but also a focus on the importance of green spaces in our architecture of our time.

My thanks to my three friends for forcing me to face up to the fact that my tendency to workaholic-ism is not a good thing!  I need to shape my time differently.


[1] Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man (New York: Farrar, Strauss & Company, 1951), p. 8.

Teaching is Endless Meeting

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (I John 4:16)

No, not endless meetings, although sometimes it can seem like that! Teaching is endless meeting. This a statement made by Parker Palmer in his book, The Courage to Teach, as an addition to a quotation from the Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber. The complete sentence reads as follows:

“’All real living is meeting,’ said Martin Buber, and teaching is endless meeting.”[1]

At their heart, teaching and learning are relational. We are not merely communicating or acquiring knowledge or skills, we are relating with those among whom we teach and learn. Few other callings are as intensely relational as teaching. What Michael Schluter of the Jubilee Centre called ‘The R Factor’[2] is everywhere present in the classroom.

God is relational for he is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in relation with each other in the Trinity through all eternity. He made us in his image to be relational beings and he said at the beginning that it was not good that we should be alone (Genesis 2:18). He made us for relationships of love with him and with one another.

In a very helpful article (available on the internet), Marshall Gregory tells of a discussion with an English class at a secular American university in which he found himself saying “blithely, not seeing my own words in advance, ‘I think my job is to love you. … Unless I love you properly, I cannot teach you well. Grounding my teaching in love is the only way I can make sure that I do this job right’.”  He goes on to say that he did not know that he had a view about teacherly love until he found himself saying this. He went on to write this article and to argue that the only proper love between teacher and student is the agape love that God has for human beings.[3]

Yes, teaching is endless meeting and the only adequate resource for all such meeting is agape.

Loving God, as we meet and relate to those whom we teach, may we live in your love and may they come to do so too. Amen.


[1] Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998), p. 16.

[2] Michael Schluter & David Lee, The R Factor, (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1993).

[3] Marshall Gregory, Pedagogy and the Christian Law of Love, first published in Journal of Education & Christian Belief, 6:1 (2002) and accessible on the EurECA website.

Give thanks

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body’. Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

There was an old hymn that I often heard my mother sing when I was young. The opening lines went like this: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, / And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Looking back across the years, I suspect that her singing did not always come from a glad heart but, even in some hard times, she would still sometimes sing those words.

Henri Nouwen points out that we often divide our experiences of life into good things to remember with gratitude and painful things to merely accept, forget or even resent. However, he says, gratitude can be more than a spontaneous response to good things: it can be lived as a discipline. He writes,

“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”[1]

Practicing this discipline, we can choose to give thanks rather than to complain. When, in the upper room, Jesus took bread and the cup, he gave thanks and that was with a complete awareness of all that was symbolised by the bread and wine.

Can we who are his disciples put something of the same discipline into practice? Let’s see our classroom in our minds’ eyes, let’s go around it stopping by each seat, and let’s give thanks to God for the young person who sits in that seat. Each and all of them? Yes, each and all of them and not least that young man who can be such a distraction at times and that girl who seems to bring out the worst in those who sit with her.

Lord, you who gave thanks in everything, help us to practice the discipline of gratitude to you for everything you give us and for everybody you bring into our lives. Amen.

(This blog was first published in the ‘Another Day’ series on the website of the Stapleford Centre.)


[1] Robert A. Jones (ed.), Beauty of the Beloved: A Henri J. M. Nouwen Anthology, (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1999), p. 147.

Gathering around Great Things

“Your works are wonderful.” (Psalm 139:14)

There was a time when educationists debated whether we should be subject-centred, teacher-centred or child-centred. When the secondary level teacher would ask, ‘What do you teach?’, the primary level teacher could respond with the put-down, ‘I teach children!’.

Nowadays, we are more likely to phrase the debate in terms of the difference between having learning or teaching at the centre. The question to ask of what is happening in a classroom is not ‘What is being taught?’ but ‘What is being learned?’.

This shift of focus is doubtless a very helpful one and a salutary reminder to those of us who fall in love with the sound of our own voices that what matters is what the children and young people we are with are actually gaining from our being with them.

However, Parker Palmer, in The Courage to Teach, argues that there is, in fact, an important sense in which we should be subject-centred. He writes of what he terms ‘the grace of great things’ and says that the ‘great things’ are the subjects around which we gather, not the disciplines that study them nor the texts that talk about them but the things themselves. He continues:

“Watch a good teacher sitting on the floor with a group of five-year-olds, reading a story about an elephant. Viewed through the eyes of those children, it is almost possible to see that elephant in the middle of the circle! And with that great thing as the vehicle, other great things also come into the room – things like language and the miracle of symbols that carry meaning.”[1]

The disciplines we teach are French windows on God’s world, a world of his wonderful works. Let us open them and walk through them with our students into that wonderful world. May those we seek to teach learn that his works are wonderful as we gather around some great thing today.

Lord, when I consider the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore, restore to me some of that child-like wonder and grant that those I teach and learn with may catch something of it from me. Amen.


[1] Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998), p. 118.

Knowing when

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
   and how good is a timely word! (
Proverbs 15:23)

“There is a time for everything”, says the writer of Ecclesiastes and, a few lines later, “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccelesiastes 3:1,7).

Much of our work in our schools has been traditionally concerned with knowledge of facts that can be expressed in ‘knowing that’ statements. The children and young people that we teach come to know that King John signed the Magna Carta, that the square root of 49 is 7, and that limestone is a sedimentary rock.

In an age when so much factual knowledge has become available at the click of a mouse, we are now becoming more concerned with ‘knowing how’, with skills rather than facts. Our curriculum objectives are defined in terms of what our pupils are able to do, not least in relation to how they use a computer and access the internet.

In his book, Wisdom and Curriculum, Doug Blomberg writes of the importance of another kind of knowing – ‘knowing when’ – which he regards as a major part of wisdom.[1] As teachers, we so often feel our lack of wisdom. It was a time to be silent but we uttered those words that we heartily wish we had never said. Or there was one of those unexpected moments when we failed to respond to the serendipitous, a time to speak but we didn’t speak. How we need to ‘know when’ to say or do the right, to have that sensitivity to the moment amidst all the words and actions of classroom life.

But if we lack wisdom, if we lack aptness of reply and timeliness of word, James tells us in his epistle, all we have to do is to “ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5) and it will be given to us. Now that is surely gospel good news!

Lord, I lack wisdom. Classroom life is so full and so unpredictable. I don’t have time to think. Help me to show that timeliness of response in word and action to the moment, to the unexpected, to the person who is that child made by you in your image and loved by you. Amen.


[1] Doug Blomberg, Wisdom and Curriculum: Christian Schooling after Postmodernity, (Sioux Center, Iowa: Dordt Press, 2007), p. 5.

Nobody forgets a Good Teacher

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

We each of us have what David Ford calls in The Shape of Living a ‘community of the heart’, made up of those people who are most important to us.[1] They are the people who, for better and sometimes too for worse, have shaped and are shaping what we are and are becoming.

Parents and grandparents figure largely among them. So also do teachers. We can all remember some who influenced us deeply and for good, for, as an old but true UK government teacher recruitment slogan put it, nobody forgets a good teacher.

The Irish poet, Micheal O’Siadhail, to whose wonderful works David Ford’s book introduced me, writes in ‘Foster-Figure’ of the ongoing energy that the memory of an old teacher gives him:

“I probe the essence of this energy;

No blandishments or blind approval,

His unblinking trust enticed me,

Fingered some awareness of worth;

In his praise all is possible.”[2]

National and international annual Teaching Awards remind us of this but, although we readily acknowledge it to be true of others, especially of those teachers who have helped to shape us, we are slower to believe that we can be the same kind of influencers in the hearts of those we teach.

Of course, we also remember those teachers whose searing sarcasm or thoughtless dismissal of our efforts have left us deeply scarred. The community of the heart is, sadly, not made up only of those who have helped us.

Some who have long since departed the rooms of our lives have left the lingering presence of a fragrant perfume but others have left an odour that lacks that fragrance. Paul talks in 2 Corinthians 2:15 of our being ‘the aroma of Christ’ and that was surely what Timothy’s mother and grandmother were to him. May it be so of you and me among those we teach today.

Lord, it is not that we want them to remember us but that, in remembering us, they may remember you.  May the faith that lives in us live in them also. Amen.

[1] David F. Ford, The Shape of Living: Spiritual Directions for Everyday Life, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004) p. 33.

[2] Micheal O’Siadhail, Poems 1975 – 1995, (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1999) p. 91.

Playtime

“When he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind. (
Proverbs 8:29-31)

This passage from Proverbs depicts Wisdom as being at God’s side when he created the world. Twice Wisdom is said to be ‘rejoicing’ but translations seem to use this word because it sounds more pious. In fact, as Charles Melchert points out in his book, Wise Teaching, “everywhere else in the Hebrew Bible, this term is translated ‘play’ … children playing with toys and games … people playing musical instruments and dancing … even the love-play between Isaac and Rebekah.”[1] Others have translated it as ‘frolicking’ and ‘jesting’.

Both in our churches and in our schools, we can sometimes become so serious, so soberly logical and rational, that laughter, play and imagination have difficulty in finding their place in our lives and in our teaching and learning.

Play opens up possibilities and imagination leaps over the boundaries of the ordinary and everyday into fields of exploration and laughter. As Kieran Egan says in his great little book, Teaching as Story Telling, “children’s imaginations are the most powerful and energetic learning tools”.[2] But we can too often deaden them with the predictable.

Where, in the lessons that we have planned for today or the coming week, can we make more provision for a free flow of imagination, a playful moment in which we can explore possibilities that we would have missed because we were so focussed on our curricular aims and objectives? Let’s jump over the walls and go for a run in the meadows with those whom we teach. You never know, we may learn something new ourselves in the process!

Lord Jesus Christ, you were Wisdom at play in the creation of the world. Help me to be playful in my teaching that those I teach may catch something of that playfulness which is part of your image within them. Amen.

[1] Charles F. Melchert, Wise Teaching: Biblical Wisdom and Educational Ministry, (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press, 1998) p. 189.

[2] Kieran Egan, Teaching as Story Telling, (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1986) p. 2.