Heathdale flower 17th September 2020

Revealing the Code

Just like a cable stitch pattern, we don't often always see the deeper meaning. Thankfully we have a God willing to explain.

Heathdale flower

During ‘iso’, my wife Sue has taken up knitting again as one of her past times. As I looked at a picture of the cardigan she was knitting, I had an awful flash back! It was back in the time when I was training as a Primary School Teacher. I had enrolled in a subject called, Language, Teaching and Learning. This was a core subject for the course and was a requirement to graduate as a Teacher.

The focus for the semester was how children learn to read. It was a fascinating topic as we learnt how the brain and eyes work in unison to take squiggles and marks on a page and recognise that they form letters; when a group of letters were arranged in a specific order they created words. A collection of words forms a sentence and a series of sentences make a paragraph. But learning this wasn’t what traumatised me!

A particular series of tutorials focussed on why children have difficulty learning to read. To help illustrate a point, the Lecturer put the following slide up:

Using US #3/3.25mm needle, CO 128[140, 164] sts. Divide sts evenly between needles so that there are 64[70, 82] sts on each needle. Set-up Round: Using first US #3/3.25mm needle, [k2, p1] 7[7, 8] times, k2, place marker, [k2, p1] 13[15, 18] times, k2; work sts on second needle in the same way using second US #3/3.25mm needle.

My initial response was, what sort of mumbo jumbo is that? Precisely at that moment the Lecturer called out my name, asked me to stand and read out loud what was on the screen. Even though the letters and numbers made absolutely no sense to me, I wasn’t going to beaten by this challenge. I attacked the first line with all the gusto of a freight train, only to come to screeching halt on the very next line. I sat down feeling deflated and demoralised. I was totally confused because I had absolutely no understanding of what I was trying to read. That was traumatic!

The Lecturer understood what had taken place and apologised to me. She went on to explain, that as I was the only male in the group and therefore, I was the obvious “target” for this exercise. My Lecturer was sure that I wouldn’t have recognised the above transcript of a knitting pattern! She commented that it was interesting to note that all the females in the tutorial recognised it as a pattern instantly. The Lecturer asked if anyone understood the knitting instruction and the reply quickly came “It’s a cable stitch!”

As I looked again at Sue’s pattern, I was able to see the collection of numbers, letters and words were a pattern, but I still had no understanding of what they meant. Sue did, and was able to explain to me what she was knitting even without referring to the picture.

I recently came across the following passage from the book of John in the New Testament. It made me realise that there are occasions when we don’t understand, and we need someone to help us to see and gain a deeper understanding. This is exactly one of the things Jesus has done for you and me when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep….. This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them." John 10:1 & 6 (The English Standard Version)

To understand the full significance of these words of Jesus, we must cast our minds back to that famous incident in the Old Testament when God met His servant Moses at the burning bush. In this encounter with God, Moses asked God to reveal to His name, and this is exactly what God did! God replied, “I AM who I AM!”

The name seemed to go out like a boomerang, and double back on itself: “I AM who I AM!” This great name of God never seemed to have a clear definition and was hard to understand. The nearest interpretation that the Bible scholars of the day could come up with is, ‘The ever present One.’ This was the understanding until Jesus began His ministry on earth.

In the passage from John Chapter 10, we find Jesus taking this great name of God, and links it to simple everyday objects such as a gate. “I AM the Good Shepherd” Jesus wasn’t denigrating this special name of God’s but rather bringing clarity by using objects that we could relate to and therefore build our understanding. It might not have been possible for the Old Testament saints to fully understand the meaning of the title God revealed to Moses, “I AM who I AM” but now because of Jesus all of this has changed! Jesus takes this name that seems vague and gives it clarity. Christ took the most complicated name of God in the Old Testament and linked it to the most ordinary objects of life. And by so doing, He has helped us to understand who God really is. How blessed are we to come to an understanding because our Lord Jesus has clarified our understanding of God?

Each day we begin our school day with devotion. One of the main reasons we hold this practice is it enables us to have the opportunity to help each student to know God a little better, learn about His character and how much he loves each and every one of us.

I give thanks to God that we have this privilege and honour to help our students to grow in their understanding of God.


Ross Grace

Executive Principal.