Recently I was going through my camera roll and I came across a photo which I took at the last National Principals Conference. It was a quote from Bishop Tutu, “We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low really”.
Wow – what a statement from a very respected man. I remember spending a lot of time thinking this through. Initially I wasn’t sure how to respond to it. Does God just let anybody into heaven? If so, what is the point of our schools, having a worship life and a relationship with God? These thoughts swirled in my head as I was mulling over this statement.
However, I have come to understand that Tutu had a wonderful understanding of the meaning of grace. God has given us the gift of eternal life through the saving work of Christ on the cross and this is given to everybody.
The words of John 3:16 certainly take on significance, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Our schools have two purposes: to educate the students and to teach about the faith. We allow the Holy Spirit to work in our schools so that members of our communities will either come to faith or have their faith strengthened. We express this in one of statements from our foundation in Growing Deep:
‘Lutheran schools and early childhood services are communities open to the influence of the Holy Spirit, who invites and equips for a life of worship, learning and service’.
Yes, it’s a bit mind bending to think who we may see in heaven. However, we have been called to spread the good news in our communities so that those with whom we meet, have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do this and is being given the opportunity to work in the hearts of those that hear. In hearing this and believing this they will be saved – as Tutu rightly states. Heaven is open for everyone.
May the Holy Spirit work through and your vocation as we tell others about the saving grace of God.
Director: Leadership & School Improvement