What is it about the gospel that can bring a healing voice to what is called “discipline” in schools? Part of the DNA of Christian schools is the belief that the gospel provides alternative perspectives to the priorities of contemporary culture. These are explored in every area of the curriculum: math, science, literature, history, business, social studies, and more. But what about “discipline” and relationships within the school community? The gospel is comprehensive; to quote one of the founders of Christian education, Abraham Kuyper, “There is a not a square inch of creation in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” What, then, does the gospel offer here, and how can that inform the “communities of grace” that Christian schools seek to be?
Jubilee: God’s Way of Community
In the face of these questions, I invite you to reflect with me on one of the core themes of Scripture: the practice of Jubilee. In the desert, having been delivered from the harsh oppression of the Egyptians, God sought to inscribe within his precious people a way in which they would now relate to each other—a way of relationship that culminates in the Jubilee legislation (Deut. 15, Lev. 25).