Welcome to the 2022-23 Head of School Blog. I publish these the last Saturday of every month on topics that relate to our mission, our culture, and the specific things we do to give your children the best possible education here at NCS. I hope you will be encouraged by them. If you ever have questions or requests related to this blog, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I love hearing from our families and would be delighted to discuss past, current or future topics. Thanks for reading!
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
In his book All In, Mark Batterson talks about “The Inverted Gospel.” He contends that many Christians believe they’re following Christ, they want and mean to be following Jesus, but in reality, they have invited Jesus to follow them. They may have invited Him to be their Savior, but they haven’t allowed Him to be the Lord of their lives.
This year, our school-wide theme is “Transformed.” In digging into it over the past two months, I’ve realized why Christians struggle with big concepts like this one, myself included. Our nature is to look for the formula. We want the Bible to give us the x + y so we can do those, get to z, and check that spiritual maturity item off our lists. Don’t do this, check. Do this, check. And the longer our list gets, the more accomplished we feel.
Transformation, however, doesn’t fit that mold. In fact, the more we study the Biblical idea of transformation, the more helpless we tend to feel. Paul gives us two ‘action items’ for being transformed and not conforming to the patterns of this world. One, renew our minds. The word here for renew actually means a complete change for the better. A total renovation of our old minds. That’s intimidating. We can work toward it, but how will we know when we’ve achieved it? Is it even possible?
The second is in our companion verse for this theme, II Corinthians 3:18:
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
So Paul is saying all we have to do is, uh, what? And suddenly, we are faced with the main tension of the Christian life: the more we seek to make ourselves better Christians, the more we wander from what God is actually asking of us. As we try to be obedient and plot this path to transformation, we become increasingly uncomfortable. Because the truth of being transformed is this: we can’t make it happen. We can’t renew our own minds. We can’t transform our own lives. There’s no simple x + y that will take us to a tidy checkmark.
Thankfully, this is where the incredible grace of our Heavenly Father comes in – He’s not asking us to do it. In fact, the only way transformation will happen is when we realize this: Christ does all the work. Let me say it again. Christ. Does. All. The. Work. The veil reference in the verse above is to Moses, coming down from Mount Sinai. As he descended from being in the presence of our Holy God, his own face was so blindingly radiant that he had to cover it for the Israelites to even be around him. Yet this verse makes the sharp contrast between what Moses experienced and what we have available to us as New Testament Christians. Through Christ’s incomprehensible sacrifice for us on the cross, the veil that separated us from God’s glory is now removed. Christ Himself removed it, once and for all, and He is inviting us to gaze at His Glory. He is inviting us to allow the work that only “…comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” to happen in our lives.
This is how we are transformed.
In the next weeks and months, we will be unpacking what we can do to allow the Lord’s Glory to transform us; it’s still an active process that we choose to engage in. We can seek Him; we can immerse ourselves in His Word; we can take every matter to Him in prayer and ask His will in every situation, instead of deciding what He thinks is best and dragging Him along with us. We will be intentionally developing the spiritual disciplines that allow God to renew our minds and transform our hearts with your children of all ages in the coming year.
As we do, my prayer is that our students will be awe-struck by a God Who loves them beyond understanding, a God Who has so much more for them than they could ever attain by ‘conforming to this world.’ I pray that, as Christians young and old, we will surrender to Christ’s work in our lives and stop trying to create the appearance of that work on our own. And I pray that as a community, we will shine so brightly from being in the presence of our Savior that all who look on us will know we belong to Him.