Dr. Peterson encourages parents and ECS faculty/staff alike to view the recent events in light of the powerful gospel of Christ.
Paris and Parental Response
As a parent community, I think it is helpful and beneficial for you to have discussions with your children that are developmentally appropriate regarding the events in Paris last week. As we shepherd the hearts of children, it is important to keep the Christian worldview as our primary lens through which we are viewing reality and responding to reality. What a blessed and glorious hope we have in Christ. My wife, Brooke, texted me this link from The Gospel Coalition during the week to help us lead our children:
I wrote this email to our faculty and staff for them to read before the week began in light of the events in Paris on Friday, November 13:
Faculty and Staff,
As you are aware, Paris is experiencing the evil ramification of a terrorist attack carried out on Friday night by The Islamic State (ISIS) claiming the lives of 129 and injuring many more. This was sobering news for me on Friday night.
I write to let you know that we, as Christian educators, have a clear response to evil, sin, and suffering, and His name is Jesus Christ. Each of you teaches and serves in different capacities at ECS. We must respond and lead with prayer and gospel resolve. At some point this week, you may have opportunities to converse with students about the tragic events in Paris. Their questions may lead into many important topics and macro-questions about life, evil, and suffering. At the elementary level, this looks much different than at a high school level or even middle school level. Whether you are a coach, teacher, maintenance, part-time teacher, specialist, administrative assistant, or principal, you must be ready to give an apologia, a defense of the gospel (1 Peter 3:15). We live in the already-but-not-yet of our glorious salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. We have already been justified because of our faith in the person and work of Christ. Evil is rampant in this world, but it will not always be so. The not-yet is coming in our future glorification (Romans 8:17 and 28-30). We have a hope as the anchor for our soul in the here and now because Christ is the forerunner on our behalf (Hebrews 6:19-20).
I pray that God will encourage you this week and prepare your heart, mind, and mouth to lead students and parents to Christ. If it comes up in your class from students, be ready and willing to share the gospel with them. I encourage you to be proactive in your communication with parents this week. They will appreciate knowing the content of what was communicated with their children. Silence is not an option if it comes up in your classroom.
In times like these, we must ARISE and SHINE (Isaiah 60:1) because we know Jesus has come and will come! I am thankful to be on this journey with you.
I am praying for you tonight . . .
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV).