“Peter, do you love me…?” Jesus asked, and I’m sure Peter’s memories dragged him from the triumphant resurrected Christ that stood before him to the tortured savior on the night of his crucifixion. Peter had not too long ago declared Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter had also not too long ago denied his Lord before men. Peter realized at this moment that Jesus knew this, and all things. “Lord, you know…” he answered. The Lamb of God responded with an interesting command, “Feed my lambs.”
This week I have been preparing my classroom for students returning. As a teacher in my fourth year, I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions, situations, and obligations in my career. I’m thankful for an elite training program at my alma mater, and for uplifting colleagues who have helped me grow and develop my craft. Yesterday I was moved almost to tears while wiping a chair down as I considered who would soon be seated before me: His Lambs. Without delving too deep into the restoration of Simon Peter and the spiritual significance of his thrice-confessed love, I’d like to draw your attention to Christ’s initial response. Many of us have heard the “Feed-my-Sheep” line since Jesus said it two out of three times, but first he said lambs.
This month students all over the nation will be returning to school. I encourage you to take a moment and pray for these little lambs. Someone is going to be feeding them. Pray for the kindergarten teachers, the sixth-grade teachers, the freshman teachers, the college professors. Fellow XA Alumni, I sincerely ask that you cover the souls of young students with prayer. Just as Peter recognized two millennia ago, Jesus has a plan for these lambs. God knit them together in their mothers’ wombs, and he has plans to prosper them; to give them a future and a hope. It was quite the weighty revelation while cleaning a dusty chair, but God often speaks to us in the little things. I know not all of us are invested in the educational sector, but all of us can pray. If you are a parent, please pray for those who will shepherd your children this year. If you are an aunt or uncle, please lift up your adolescent family members. If you are still in contact with your alma mater Chi Alpha, call the campus pastor and pray over him or her. Any time you come in contact with a student this year, speak life into them. On behalf of a nation of educators and child-advocates, I thank you. I’m reminded of the time Jesus told his disciples to “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 19:14 ESV). Always remember, friends, that Jesus loves the little children: all the children of the world.
Be Blessed and Be Encouraged.