Teachers are an amazingly underappreciated lot! Having lived with one for the past 34 years, I have been able to “peek behind the curtain” and see what being a teacher is REALLY like. With that in mind…I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to…ALL of the teachers I had growing up! Here’s just ONE example-
Drummers are notorious for getting in trouble in band. They are A. almost always the ADHD kids, B. therefore easily distracted and bored and C. have WAY too much time on their hands while the director works with…the REAL musicians! When I was in High School, our band room had a tuning machine that sat on a little table up against a rather large load-bearing structural pillar. It was SO boring to watch the band tune…drummers don’t HAVE to tune, thank you very much!…that I decided to amuse myself one day. I snuck down front and positioned myself on the side of that pillar that was OPPOSITE the tuning machine. That put me A. very near the tuning machine and B. out of sight of the director! When he had the whole band play their tuning note, I whistled about a half-step off-key…JUST enough that the tuning machine told him that the band wasn’t in tune! I then remained silent as he went section by section, checking the “in-tune”ness of the trumpets, clarinets and so forth. Because I was quiet, each group registered in tune. He then went back to the whole band…and I then went back to whistling off-key! From there, he went back to each section and tried it again. Eventually, he went instrument by instrument. And no matter what he tried, the individuals and the sections were always IN tune…but the BAND was NEVER in tune! We spent 25 minutes tuning that day! It was awesome! But this morning, I would like to go on record, for the first time in 31 years, as saying, “Mr. Cohill…I’m very sorry and I’ll never do it again!”
Today we wrap up this sermon series of digging deeper into exactly Who the Holy Spirit is. Each week, we have focused on one word- a name that describes the Holy Spirit. The first week, we talked about the fact that the Holy Spirit is the Author. Week 2, we considered that the Holy Spirit is the Encourager. Week 3, we looked at the Holy Spirit as Indweller. Week 4, we considered the Holy Spirit as the Intercessor. Last Week, we looked at the Holy Spirit as the Revealer. Today, we close this series as we talk about the fact that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher.
Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach His disciples “all things” and bring to their remembrance the things He said while He was with them. They were moved by the Spirit to remember, understand and implement the instructions Jesus gave for the building and organizing of the Church and the revelation of things to come. Jesus promised US that the Holy Spirit would teach US all things as well.
John 14:25-26 I have spoken all these things while I am still with you. But the Father will send the Friend in my name to help you. The Friend is the Holy Spirit. He will teach you all things. He will remind you of everything I have said to you.
What defines a great teacher? We’ve all had teachers who either should have never gone into the profession or at least should have retired years ago. But for those GOOD teachers- the dedicated ones who pour out their passion for no other reason but to help others learn- what are some common, defining characteristics?
They are resilient. They have an unwavering desire to make life better for their students. They’re always looking for opportunities to strengthen their students’ learning…AND their own. They create a healthy environment where students’ lives are touched and their minds challenged. They provide a comfortable and safe space for students to take risks and express their own opinions and ideas. They encourage an environment where everybody is heard and everybody knows they belong. They foster excitement and enthusiasm for learning. They talk WITH and listen TO their students so they can design work that motivates and inspires them.
But what makes a good teacher a great teacher is when they have a firm grasp of both the science AND the artistry of teaching. I had a 2nd Grade teacher who was also my 4th Grade teacher- she got “promoted”! Every student wanted her as their teacher, and every student who HAD her as their teacher…cherished that relationship! She made me WANT to learn! She made me WANT to do my best. She made me WANT to do everything I could to make her proud. But what she did better than ANY of that was make me feel like…I mattered. I grew up in a rather dysfunction home. And there were lots of days when I came to school feeling pretty lost…pretty unwanted. But the 2 school years I had her as my teacher, I was EAGER to get to school. Why? Because I knew she cared. I knew she loved me. I knew I mattered to her. And because of that, I wanted to be the best…ME…I could be. I wanted to please her. I wanted to jump through whatever hoops she could lay out for me that day. All because she made me feel like I mattered. Thank you, Mrs. Nillson!
And so it is with the Holy Spirit. He is constantly showing us how much He loves us. And that love should compel us to want to do whatever we need to do to grow in faith.
The Holy Spirit works for one main purpose and one main purpose only- to bring glory to God. He is a foretaste of heaven- a glimpse of what an eternity with God will be like. He lives with us and in us. He convicts us of our sin and teaches us a better way. He guides us to the truth and offers us insight into God’s ways. And He will be with us forever. God has given us His Spirit to teach us and His Word to serve as our textbook. Our main source for faith learning should be the Word of God as inspired by and taught by the Holy Spirit. Through His encouraging, His guiding, His indwelling, His intercession, His revealing and His teaching, He equips us, enables us to be so much more TOGETHER than we could EVER be apart. Two are better than one and a chord with three strands isn’t easily broken. God has given us His Spirit to teach us and His Word to serve as our textbook.