A prayer that hangs upon the ears of my students almost every day ends with the following sentence:
Bless all who teach and all who learn; and grant that in humility of heart they may ever look unto Thee, who art the fountain of all wisdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It’s not just the fact that I never got to do it—it’s more than that. It’s not just the fact that I’m overwhelmed with youthful zeal—though I am. The deep emotion that I have regarding our daily times of morning prayer come from a place yet deeper still; a place of hope in the soul that realizes God is still working His good pleasure and presence among us, and His place among the children of this world may be His most exalted place yet. “For he is the Lord our God; and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep of his hand,” they cry out each day. “For it is thou, Lord, only that makest us dwell in safety,” they affirm in one accord.
In the same way that our own Scriptures span from the first things to the very last things, Christians have always had a certain preoccupation with viewing beginnings and endings as spiritual things. This is exactly why we begin and end each class in prayer. Not only do we mark the whole of history with Him who spoke the worlds into being and Him who finally comes to judge the quick and the dead; not only do we mark our own calendar years with annual considerations of Him who took on flesh in a manger and Him who then bore our sins in that self-same body; and not only do we mark our weeks with the first things of worship—we mark also our days with prayer at the first, and we flank either side of our study with a bowing of the head before Him who is the fountain of all wisdom. Class is now dismissed.
The day ends in song. So does eternity. The last fifteen minutes of our day are not under the dominion of cleaning, packing, organizing, and getting out that door; they are now spent in the singing of spiritual songs and hymns. The day has bookends—bookends that exercise the full array of a transcendent universe. Our studies now have a full association with something other than themselves, for the blessing upon those who learn is in drinking deeply of that Heavenly fount of Wisdom poured out on the people of God.