We’re getting ready for staff orientation at Ondessonk next week, so it’s been on my mind a lot, along with the ten thousand other things of course, but summer camp is a really special and demanding time for me. Camp’s about fun, but we also care deeply about outdoor education, the skills and character and faith that Camp is such an ideal place to teach. That kind of teaching isn’t finished once you’ve said it, or even once you’ve shown it. There’s that critical moment when the teacher steps back and says “okay, your turn.” At first the teacher might hover and be ready to jump in any moment, but even beyond that there’s yet another moment, when the teacher must allow real responsibility… and even failure.
I think that has quite a lot to do with the Ascension of Jesus. He taught what he had to teach, showed what he had to show, and now the time has come for him to step back and say, “okay your turn.” You can look at the way Jesus teaches his Apostles in the Gospels, and see what a master teacher he really was. Patient when he needed to be, demanding when he needed to be, teaching by word and example, and then letting them do it for themselves, giving them leadership and sending them out on initial missions… but now the time has come to really step back and turn it over to them, to allow them to have true responsibility, and yes, even to fail.
That’s the Church on Earth.