The state legislature passes a mandatory school-attendance law, requiring all children between the ages of 8 and 16 to attend 12 weeks of school a year.*
Jesus, will You observe this law with me? What is on Your mind when looking at the idea of mandatory school attendance? You don’t use the law forcibly in the New Testament, but did require certain obedience in the Old Testament. You instructed parents to teach, but also said, ‘Let the children come to me” when restrained by the disciples. You demand all from us, but want obedience from the place of lovingkindness rather than empty religious duty.
In any case, I thank You that Minnesotans’ have valued education. I thank You for the heart behind this law that children should be allowed a time and place solely for learning. I thank you that these 12 weeks were set aside to enhance the exposure of young minds’ to the enjoyable discipline of education.
As is the case whenever new laws spring up, I’m sure there was an element in the state that was resistant to comply for varying reasons. “What if my child becomes smarter than me? What if the school teaches something that I do not agree with? What is wrong with the way I am raising my child currently? Does the government of Minnesota know better than me? I need my son or daughter at home because they are essential workers on the farm!”
Lord, for these attitudes of distrust from the people to the state, have mercy on our judgements! Lord, for the attitudes of the state to the people, have mercy on our judgements! We are all people capable of misusing our authority. We are all people who capable of using some element of force when we do not get our way. We are not benevolent like You; we often do good things from impure motives.
Christ, will You have mercy on our motive conflicts? Will You give the correct balance in this contested area of education in the life of our state? Will you give us the grace for our neighbor that is inherent in Your law, and in the laws of Minnesota? How can we expect our freedom of choice to be respected, when we will not even acknowledge our neighbor’s vantage point as one worthy of consideration?
*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
**Peruse the details of this law? https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/?view=session&year=1885&type=0