There are those nights as a parent when the monsters must be expelled and defeated. A shadow, a sound, an uneasy feeling takes up residence in the little one’s room and it’s time for Mom or Dad to go into action. The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to discern the location and identity of the intruder and then to eradicate the fell beast so your little one can rest peacefully in the night.
When it’s done and order has been restored, the dragon slayer must also bring peace. So, he takes up residence next to the little one and speaks words of comfort. “Shhh.” “It’s all OK.” “Off to sleep, now.”
Such is the work of the shepherd. Keep the wolves at bay, and keep the sheep at peace.
Since the garden, the dragon has sought out the sheep to devour them and the Shepherd has crushed the dragon’s head. The great death stroke happened in a strange way: the Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep, then, three days later, he rose from the dead in the greatest practical joke the universe has ever seen.
Along the way, the Shepherd has spoken words of comfort and peace to His sheep.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
The announcement of the birth of the Great Shepherd came to shepherds: these guardians and peacekeepers highlighting, I think, a common work that we see God doing throughout Scripture. What God does to us, He also does through us. He loves us, then tells us to love like He does. He lays down His life for us, then beckons us do the same for one another. He creates and bids us do likewise. He guards and speaks peace to His people and so we are called to do so. He shepherds and so do we.
And this is another reason why we are called to learn and work and live. In loving and living for others we must protect. We must provide. We must pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) as well as seek the peace of the city in which we find ourselves (Jeremiah 29:7), for we know that peacemakers are most truly blessed (Matthew 5:9).
Around the dinner table talk about:
- Where do we see the need for protection of, or provision for, others?
- Where do we see the need for words and actions of comfort and peace?
Advent Readings for Week 3
|Sunday, December 14||Isaiah 60:1–3|
|Monday, December 15||2 Corinthians 4:3–6|
|Tuesday, December 16||1 John 1:4–7|
|Wednesday, December 17||John 3: 16–21|
|Thursday, December 18||Isaiah 40:1–11|
|Friday, December 19||John 9:1–7|
|Saturday, December 20||Luke 3:1–6|
Mr. Dell Cook teaches Theology and Apologetics. He holds a B.S. from Appalachian State University, a M.Div from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Th.M. from Reformed Theological Seminary. Mr. Cook has served at CCS since 2000 teaching 4th grade, Old and New Testament, Theology, Apologetics, Church History, Hebrew, Greek, and Hermeneutics. He has served as Director of Athletics and coached girls’ basketball, middle school golf, junior varsity and varsity football, and from 2012 to 2018 he served as Headmaster. Mr. Cook serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Classical and Christian Schools as well as the Academic Advisory Board for the Classical Learning Test. He and his wife Ginny have three children: two are graduates of CCS, and the third is a current student.