There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, about the theologian Karl Barth. It is said that on his deathbed he was asked what was most important theologically. His response was, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Whether it is true or not, it is a powerful reminder of the importance of filling our minds and hearts with good things from an early age.
To that end, one of the activities that we have put an emphasis on since day one of Oaks Classical is the intentional memorization of good things. We memorize poetry, songs, Shakespeare, catechisms, and, of course, Scripture. When we do this we form a living, breathing library in our hearts and minds that is filled with the treasures of humanity, and God's Word. This becomes a repository of wisdom that students can draw on as they grow older and certainly as they face the challenges, and joys of life. One of the constant refrains in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is God's people being told to "remember" or being reprimanded for forgetting. Our goal in emphasizing memorization is not to be cruel taskmasters or create a new generation of elitists, but to raise up disciples who have the tools to remember.
This past term in Collective we worked on the following Scriptures, songs, and questions:
- Matthew 5:1-16 & Psalm 139:1-13
- All Praise to Thee My God this Night & Be Thou My Vision
- Children's Catechism (Lower school) Questions 75-88, Heidelberg Catechism (Upper School) Questions 16-23.
If I can encourage you in any way this week, it would be to find ways to integrate the intentional memorization of good things into your daily life at home. It doesn't have to be anything as formal as sitting down and asking catechism questions. Instead what you will find is that opportunities will arise for you to use those questions to answer your kids' questions. Sing songs in the car. Pull up some "Slugs and Bugs" or whatever kids songs you like that help with the memorization of Scripture. When you rise up to when you lay down, or when you walk by the way, find ways to instill these truths, and the payoff can be huge.
Soli Deo Gloria,