X is a strange letter. It marks the spot. We solve for it. It can serve as an unknown.
I remember, as a young child, the first time I saw the abbreviation “XMAS”. It was on the new-fangled sign that flashed words in bright letters. This sign could only flash about 6 letters, so it was alternating the words “MERRY” and “XMAS.” I caught the drift but was confused about why anyone would avoid saying Christ. It felt blasphemous to omit Jesus from Christmas. Later I found out that the first letter for the word Christ in Greek is X (chi) and that the folks at the saving and loan probably weren’t aiming at blasphemy.
Christ has an awkward relationship with our culture. One could even say that He has a strained relationship with America’s Christmas, which is choked with gifts and consumption and missing any good news of the Incarnation of God coming into the world.
While it is striking that Christ gets left out of Christmas, He has been removed from other, perhaps even more crucial parts of our American culture as well - controversially, from our schools. Veritas is an explicitly Christian school, and as such, we will never allow Christ to be pushed out of our classrooms.
Here are three critical ways that we keep Christ in the classroom, the hallways, and the center of our lives at Veritas Academy.
Christ as Focal Point of Life and Worship
This has been an odd year, but some of my most blessed times have been walking through the halls first thing in the morning. As I pass classrooms, I hear teachers reading the Bible, talking about Christ, and praying with the students. While the signing is limited this year, each day starts with the recognition that humans are beings that worship. Each day, we start with Christ as the center focal point of life and worship.
Christ as Lord
Another crucial aspect of keeping Christ in the classroom at Veritas is the recognition of His lordship. This means that He has authority over all that we do.
In the context of our relationships with others, Christ rules. I often witness this part of Christ’s presence when I hear a student arriving in the school office as a prelude to his visit with Graham Dennis, our Dean of Students. Two things stand out. First, Raquel Knapik, our Receptionist, is a great listener and encourager. She encourages the offender and gets him or her ready to meet Mr. Dennis. “He’s not that scary,” she advises. Second, I love to listen to Graham, when he talks with students. He brings them back to biblical principles and, often, directly to particular parts of the Bible, reminding them of their responsibility in this community to honor Christ’s lordship along with the blessing that they can find when they take sins to Jesus for forgiveness and experience the resulting joy of restored relationships.
Christ as Center of Knowledge and Wisdom
Finally, at Veritas, Christ isn’t just Lord, and He isn’t just an object of devotion. He is the center of all knowledge and wisdom.
In Colossians 1, Paul states that Christ is the Creator, the Redeemer, and the focal point of all knowledge, saying, “in Him, all things hold together.” At Veritas, Christ is the center of Bible class because He is the center of the message of Scripture. He is also the center of all classes and of all studies. He stands behind the orderliness and beauty of Math; He made the Universe and beckons us to explore it and understand it, which helps us know and see Him better; His laws judge history as well as our own actions. When we read Hamlet or Camus, we work to view them through the lens of Christ’s ethic and teaching. As we work or play or act or sing, we encourage students to do all of these things for and in light of Him.
This takes practice, and we are far from perfection, but our hope is that, working together with families, Jesus would be so intertwined in every part of the lives of our students that Christ would ever be found in them and they in Him.
As we approach Christmas and soak in this season of peace and joy found in the wondrous gift of Christ’s coming, may we never lose sight of the fact that Emmanuel came so that God could truly be with us at all times. He is, indeed, with us, and praise God for that glorious truth! Let us all - students and parents, young and old, at school, home and work - invite him to be with us by living each day with a keen awareness of his perfect presence and provision.
Are you hoping for a school that carries your family's faith and values into your child's education? A place where the hours your child spends at school are saturated in Christ to nurture their minds and spirits? We invite you to see how classical Christian education at Veritas uniquely works to establish an abiding love for God. Schedule your virtual or in-person visit to Veritas today to see what makes this place so beloved by parents and students alike!