Example #55 Graphs and Delight

What if learning about graphing led to delighting others?

Libby's Primary class were learning how to construct picture graphs.

"In previous years, I had followed the same routine of taking a survey of the children’s favourite fruit. Then the students would survey the class next door. Two colourful picture graphs would be constructed of the results, which would then be displayed on the wall. We would compare and contrast the results from our class with those of the other class.

"This time we repeated the procedure, but took the activity further. Once we had recorded the survey results from the other class, we set about calculating how many of each fruit made up a kilogram. We then calculated how many kilograms of each fruit we would need to purchase if we were to have enough to cater for the class next door.

"That afternoon, I purchased the required amount of fruit. The following day, with the assistance of some parent helpers, our class prepared bowls of fresh fruit for the class next door and served them a surprise ‘fruit morning tea’, to show our gratitude for helping us with our survey. I think we enjoyed preparing the surprise and keeping the secret as much as they did. We took great delight in seeing their faces when we arrived with the fruit. We took photographs and displayed them with the graphs on the wall."

What’s going on here?

Libby saw maths as an opportunity to bring the joy of giving into a lesson on graphs. She showed by the way she designed the lesson that maths could be involved in bringing delight to others.

She engaged students in deepening their relationship with those they surveyed and offering a concrete expression of gratitude that involved their maths skills.

Libby reshaped her practice by changing the context and purpose of the lesson (relating it to giving) and adjusting her tasks (calculating fruit) to support an exercise in giving.

How do I do this myself?

What does this have to do with faith, hope and love?

Jesus said that it is better to give than receive, and giving brings with it a joy that comes from bringing delight to others. Giving and receiving are essential parts of Christian community life and part of serving the wider community. The Bible describes this as ‘sowing’: putting time, love, skill, effort and money into others. In turn we ‘reap’ what we ‘sow’. It is not a rigid equation, but those who sow love are more likely to reap it.

What difference does it make?

Libby demonstrated a purpose for the skills being taught that was in line with Christian values and she gave students an opportunity to put what they had learned into practice. In doing this, Libby was laying the foundations for integrating knowledge and belief with life. This is a good habit of mind to encourage, as it is all too easy to hold ideas and beliefs in our heads without thinking through what it means to put them into practice.

Where could we go from here?

Look for other opportunities for using data in line with Christian values. This may not always be about giving; for example, it can be to inform a group of people about an issue in order to bring about change.

Digging deeper

The term 'Eden' means delight (Genesis 2:8). Eden was a garden of delight and this is a way of looking at our world: it is a garden of delights to be explored; it is God’s box of delights to be unwrapped. It is easy to drift into seeing knowledge only in terms of usefulness and to neglect delighting in it. In the Bible, God tells people to ‘take delight’ in the things he has given them (Deuteronomy 26:11). Delight is a form of joy; it is consciously taking pleasure in someone or something. It involves a raised awareness, taking notice, revelling in something, whether that be the beauty of maths or the pleasure music creates, the joy of giving or the simplicity of a design. The Bible describes God as delighting in his people (Psalm 149:4).

Seeing the world and life itself as a gracious gift from God leaves people more open to delight and joy. Such an attitude replaces a mindset that focuses only on rights and entitlement which can leave us looking for what we are missing, rather than what we have and what we could be enjoying. For Christians, there is a delight which is a response to God’s delight in his people. Delight and joy emphasise the relationship with God that goes beyond a contractual one. It is not just obeying God out of duty and commitment.

I think we all sin by needlessly disobeying the apostolic injunction to "rejoice" as much as by anything else. C. S. Lewis

Giving is a strong motif in the Bible. One of the most famous verses in the Bible is about God loving the world so much he gave his only son (John 3:16). He also gave the world to humanity and provides for us. In response God calls for generosity. Giving to the poor and needy is accepted as done to Christ (Matthew 25:37-40). The possession of gifts and material wealth bring with them responsibility; they are for serving the common good (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbours. John Calvin

Explore similar examples:

What if a poem about ducks connected with God’s creativity?
What if a literacy lesson were about words as gifts?
What if poetry were delighting in sounds?

Print page
1So the heavens and the earth and everything else were created. 2By the seventh day God had finished his work, and so he rested. 3God blessed the seventh day and made it special because on that day he rested from his work. 4That's how God created the heavens and the earth. The Garden of Eden When the Lord God made the heavens and the earth, 5no grass or plants were growing anywhere. God had not yet sent any rain, and there was no one to work the land. 6But streams came up from the ground and watered the earth. 7The Lord God took a handful of soil and made a man. God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing. 8The Lord made a garden in a place called Eden, which was in the east, and he put the man there. 9The Lord God placed all kinds of beautiful trees and fruit trees in the garden. Two other trees were in the middle of the garden. One of the trees gave lifethe other gave the power to know the difference between right and wrong. 10From Eden a river flowed out to water the garden, then it divided into four rivers. 11The first one is the River Pishon that flows through the land of Havilah, 12where pure gold, rare perfumes, and precious stones are found. 13The second is the River Gihon that winds through Ethiopia. 14The River Tigris that flows east of Assyria is the third, and the fourth is the River Euphrates. 15The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it. 16But the Lord told him, You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 17except the one that has the power to let you know the difference between right and wrong. If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die before the day is over! 18The Lord God said, It isn't good for the man to live alone. I need to make a suitable partner for him. 19So the Lord took some soil and made animals and birds. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give each of them. Then the man named the tame animals and the birds and the wild animals. That's how they got their names. None of these was the right kind of partner for the man. 21So the Lord God made him fall into a deep sleep, and he took out one of the man's ribs. Then after closing the man's side, 22the Lord made a woman out of the rib. The Lord God brought her to the man, 23and the man exclaimed, Here is someone like me! She is part of my body, my own flesh and bones. She came from me, a man. So I will name her Woman! 24That's why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person. 25Although the man and his wife were both naked, they were not ashamed. The first sin
1The Lord is giving you the land, and soon you will conquer it, settle down, 2and plant crops. And when you begin harvesting each of your crops, the very first things you pick must be put in a basket. Take them to the place where the Lord your God chooses to be worshipped, 3and tell the priest, Long ago the Lord our God promised our ancestors that he would give us this land. And today, I thank him for keeping his promise and giving me a share of the land. 4The priest will take the basket and set it in front of the Lord 's altar. 5Then, standing there in front of the place of worship, you must pray: My ancestor was homeless, an Aramean who went to live in Egypt. There were only a few in his family then, but they became great and powerful, a nation of many people. 6The Egyptians were cruel and had no pity on us. They ill-treated our people and forced us into slavery. 7We called out for help to you, the Lord God of our ancestors. You heard our cries; you knew we were in trouble and abused. 8Then you terrified the Egyptians with your mighty miracles and rescued us from Egypt. 9You brought us here and gave us this land rich with milk and honey. 10Now, Lord , I bring to you the best of the crops that you have given me. After you say these things, place the basket in front of the Lord 's altar and bow down to worship him. 11Then you and your family must celebrate by eating a meal at the place of worship to thank the Lord your God for giving you such a good harvest. And remember to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town. Ten per cent of the harvest Moses said to Israel: 12Every year you are to give ten per cent of your harvest to the Lord . But every third year, this ten per cent must be given to the poor who live in your town, including Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. That way, they will have enough to eat. 13Then you must pray: Our Lord and our God, you have said that ten per cent of my harvest is sacred. I have obeyed your command and given this to the poor, including the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. 14I have not eaten any of this sacred food while I was in mourning; in fact, I never touched it when I was unclean. And none of it has been offered as a sacrifice to the spirits of the dead. I have done everything exactly as you commanded. 15Our Lord , look down from your temple in heaven and bless your people Israel. You promised our ancestors that you would give us this land rich with milk and honey, and you have kept your promise. The Lord is your God, and you are his people Moses said to Israel: 16Today the Lord your God has commanded you to obey these laws and teachings with all your heart and soul. 17In response, you have agreed that the Lord will be your God, that you will obey all his laws and teachings, and that you will listen when he speaks to you. 18Since you have agreed to obey the Lord , he has agreed that you will be his people and that you will belong to him, just as he promised. 19The Lord created all nations, but he will make you more famous than any of them, and you will receive more praise and honour. You will belong only to the Lord your God, just as he promised. Build an altar on Mount Ebal
1Shout praises to the Lord ! Sing him a new song of praise when his loyal people meet. 2People of Israel, rejoice because of your Creator. People of Zion, celebrate because of your King. 3Praise his name by dancing and playing music on harps and tambourines. 4The Lord is pleased with his people, and he gives victory to those who are humble. 5All you faithful people, praise our glorious Lord! Celebrate and worship. 6Praise God with songs on your lips and a sword in your hand. 7Take revenge and punish the nations. 8Put chains of iron on their kings and rulers. 9Punish them as they deserve; this is the privilege of God's faithful people. Shout praises to the Lord ! The Lord is good to his people
1There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. 2One night he went to Jesus and said, Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not perform these miracles, unless God were with you. 3Jesus replied, I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God's kingdom! 4Nicodemus asked, How can a grown man ever be born a second time? 5Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. 6Humans give life to their children. Yet only God's Spirit can change you into a child of God. 7Don't be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. 8Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. 9How can this be? Nicodemus asked. 10Jesus replied: How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? 11I tell you for certain that we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. 12If you don't believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven? 13No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. 14And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. 15Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. 16God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. 17God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! 18No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son. 19The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. 20People who do evil hate the light and won't come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. 21But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do. Jesus and John the Baptist 22Later, Jesus and his disciples went to Judea, where he stayed with them for a while and was baptizing people. 23John had not yet been put in jail. He was at Aenon near Salim, where there was a lot of water, and people were coming there for John to baptize them. 25John's followers got into an argument with a Jewish man about a ceremony of washing. 26They went to John and said, Rabbi, you spoke about a man when you were with him east of the Jordan. He is now baptizing people, and everyone is going to him. 27John replied: No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it. 28Surely you remember how I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am only the one sent ahead of him. 29At a wedding the groom is the one who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom's voice. That's why I am so glad. 30Jesus must become more important, while I become less important. The one who comes from heaven John continued: 31God's Son comes from heaven and is above all others. Everyone who comes from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all others. 32He speaks about what he has seen and heard, and yet no one believes him. 33But everyone who does believe him has shown that God is truthful. 34The Son was sent to speak God's message, and he has been given the full power of God's Spirit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given him everything. 36Everyone who has faith in the Son has eternal life. But no one who rejects him will ever share in that life, and God will be angry with them for ever.
1The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom. 2Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. 4The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps. 5The groom was late arriving, and the girls became drowsy and fell asleep. 6Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, Here's the groom! Come to meet him! 7When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, 8the foolish ones said to the others, Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out. 9The girls who were wise answered, There's not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves. 10While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. 11Later the other girls returned and shouted, Sir, sir! Open the door for us! 12But the groom replied, I don't even know you! 13So, my disciples, always be ready! You don't know the day or the time when all this will happen. A story about three servants (Luke 19.11-27) Jesus continued: 14The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. 15The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed five thousand coins to the first servant, two thousand to the second, and one thousand to the third. Then he left the country. 16As soon as the man had gone, the servant with the five thousand coins used them to earn five thousand more. 17The servant who had two thousand coins did the same with his money and earned two thousand more. 18But the servant with one thousand coins dug a hole and hid his master's money in the ground. 19Some time later the master of those servants returned. He called them in and asked what they had done with his money. 20The servant who had been given five thousand coins brought them in with the five thousand that he had earned. He said, Sir, you gave me five thousand coins, and I have earned five thousand more. 21Wonderful! his master replied. You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness! 22Next, the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, Sir, you gave me two thousand coins, and I have earned two thousand more. 23Wonderful! his master replied. You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness! 24The servant who had been given one thousand coins then came in and said, Sir, I know that you are hard to get along with. You harvest what you don't plant and gather crops where you haven't scattered seed. 25I was frightened and went out and hid your money in the ground. Here is every single coin! 26The master of the servant told him, You are lazy and good-for-nothing! You know that I harvest what I don't plant and gather crops where I haven't scattered seed. 27You could have at least put my money in the bank, so that I could have earned interest on it. 28Then the master said, Now your money will be taken away and given to the servant with ten thousand coins! 29Everyone who has something will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken from those who don't have anything. 30You are a worthless servant, and you will be thrown out into the dark where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. The final judgment Jesus continued: 31When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. 35When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me. 37Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear 39or visit you while you were sick or in jail? 40The king will answer, Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me. 41Then the king will say to those on his left, Get away from me! You are under God's curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me. 44Then the people will ask, Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail? 45The king will say to them, Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me. 46Then Jesus said, Those people will be punished for ever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life. The plot to kill Jesus (Mark 14.1,2; Luke 22.1,2; John 11.45-53)
1I don't need to write to you about the money you plan to give for God's people. 2I know how eager you are to give. And I have proudly told the Lord's followers in Macedonia that you people in Achaia have been ready for a whole year. Now your desire to give has made them want to give. 3That's why I am sending Titus and the two others to you. I want you to be ready, just as I promised. This will prove that we were not wrong to boast about you. 4Some followers from Macedonia may come with me, and I want them to find that you have the money ready. If you don't, I would be embarrassed for trusting you to do this. But you would be embarrassed even more. 5So I have decided to ask Titus and the others to spend some time with you before I arrive. This way they can arrange to collect the money you have promised. Then you will have the chance to give because you want to, and not because you feel forced to. 6Remember this saying, A few seeds make a small harvest, but a lot of seeds make a big harvest. 7Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don't feel sorry that you must give and don't feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. 8God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others. 9The Scriptures say, God freely gives his gifts to the poor, and always does right. 10God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food. He will increase what you have, so that you can give even more to those in need. 11You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift. 12What you are doing is much more than a service that supplies God's people with what they need. It is something that will make many others thank God. 13The way in which you have proved yourselves by this service will bring honour and praise to God. You believed the message about Christ, and you obeyed it by sharing generously with God's people and with everyone else. 14Now they are praying for you and want to see you, because God used you to bless them so very much. 15Thank God for his gift that is too wonderful for words! Paul defends his work for Christ