‘Twas the Friday before Christmas, thus the Friday before Christmas break. Students and teachers alike were anticipating this day for a long time, probably for different reasons. It was a full day, a good day.
We started with the whole student body, staff and some parents gathered in the gym for a chapel service. After a few announcements, we were led in a short meditation which was pretty much a cheer that everyone but me seemed to know. It ended with something like, “Go Jesus!” I could have just as well gone “… Go Comets, or Eagles or Rockets! … But ’tis the season, so “Go Jesus!”
The pep rally atmosphere continued with, “Get your hands together…”, from the song leader as he skillfully led us through every carol known to man, one right after another. The keyboard provided the synthesized rhythm as the students bounced, wiggled and danced to ‘Joy to the World’ … ‘Oh Come all Ye Faithful’ … and many more.
There’s nothing like the sound of children singing. Pre-schoolers, sixth graders, eighth graders most of them singing their hearts out about Jesus, the Prince of Peace bringing joy to the world … ‘as far as the curse is found…’ To wind things up, we ended by singing a host of holly, jolly other holiday songs as well.
I noticed as I looked around, that there were some students for whom the jolly, joy and peace seemed to be missing. I wondered what the Christmas season, or any season for that matter was like for them at school and in their homes.
After Chapel we had a couple of classes, lunch and then we were off to the roller skating rink. I had strict instructions when I left home about skating. “Don’t fall and break a hip!”
I have skated every year we’ve done this since the beginning of time, which is about when I started teaching. I wasn’t about to play the ‘old fart’ card this year, either. So I skated, round and round, and round. With about fifteen minutes left I thought, “No falls, maybe I should hang it up for the day. One more lap.”
As I was completing the lap, I approached four girls in a group to the left having some balance issues. There were two students on the right just standing by the wall. Two of the girls on the left went down. I looked to the right and my way was blocked but for a small sliver of an opening. Had I tried to negotiate it I might have made it unscathed or might have rolled over the growing pile of sixth graders on the floor in front of me. My choice was made for me as my feet went flying ahead and I landed on my behind. I’d like to think that I sacrificed myself for my students and that’s what led to my fall.
All in all it was a good day. And… if I were teaching a class at the end of the day I would tell about my sacrifice which led to my (skating) fall. Then, I tell a story about how the Fall led to a sacrifice. I would remind my students one more time that Christmas is all about Jesus coming to redeem us and all of creation from that Fall, bringing joy to our worlds, as far as the curse is found.