In this most sacred, significant week of the Christian calendar, it may feel especially discouraging to be away from your church and school families. The body of Christ longs to be together, not socially distanced as we must be now. How is it that we may be “one in spirit and of one mind” if we cannot be together as one church or school community (Philip. 2:2)?
After their stay-in-place Spring Break, RCLS students will resume Remote Learning on Monday. As a school and in their individual classrooms, students will mark this sacred Holy Week by turning their eyes to Jesus––tracing his steps as he walked through the events leading up to His crucifixion on what we now call Good Friday. What students will remember again is that after that triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, this king, although he was “in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (Philip. 2:6). Instead, he spent those last days of his life serving––teaching his followers, washing their feet, preparing their meals, encouraging their faith, and, ultimately, saving their souls.
“He made himself nothing,” Paul tells us, “by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness [. . .] he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death––even death on a cross” (verses 7-8).
Service. Selflessness. Sacrifice.
In response to this great love, Paul writes, we can practice having “the same mindset as Christ Jesus” by “do[ing] nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility [we may] value others above [our]selves, not looking to [our] own interests but each of [us] to the interests of others” (verses 3-4).
When we are together on campus, RCLS students have ample opportunity to serve each other and our wider community. We bring offerings to chapel, we embrace a friend who is discouraged, we help a little one who is scared. Together, we practice walking the way of Jesus.
Now that we are apart, may we yet practice this same love? Will we look to the interests of others?
This seems a challenging task when we are confined to the walls of our own homes, but perhaps we just start there.
Parents, here you’ll find a simple tool that we hope will supplement your child’s Holy Week lessons and meditations. Each of these acts of service––one for each day leading up to Easter––is meant to be extraordinarily easy to execute, but they each give students the opportunity to practice selflessness, to be united with Christ in his tenderness and compassion for his people. We anticipate some of you will find ways to extend and expand upon these ideas––perhaps particularly so for older students. We also hope you’ll draw some connections between the service activities and the events of Holy Week, causing the historical details of Jesus’s life to shape the hearts and minds of our young ones. (Consider, for example, that Judas betrayed his Lord for money, but Christ calls us to give all we have to the poor.)
Altogether, we want to be who we are as a school, even if we are apart for a time. Because Christ came to serve, so we actively seek to be in service to each other and our community.
So, then, will you do us a favor? We’ll borrow Paul’s words again to ask you to make our “joy complete” by sharing your child’s service with us. Make a healthcare heart and pray for local healthcare workers, set the table, call a friend––however it is that your child is walking in the way of Jesus this Holy Week, would you capture that in photo or video and send it on to us? (You can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it via FB Messenger.) We’d love to be encouraged to see that God is at work in and among us, that we may all declare that Jesus Christ is Lord! (Philip. 2:11).
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. Romans 6:5
Want more ideas for learning and reflection for Holy Week? Try these resources:
“Holy Week and Easter Activities for the Whole Family”: (Activity ideas for preschool, school-age, tweens, and teens)