Monday 31 October 2022


“One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”

—Psalm 145:4

Giuseppe Penone
The Hidden Life Within
Imagine a large, aged tree before you. What if you could peer inside this tree, and discern the shape of its younger self, secretly housed within the centre of its massive trunk? The Italian artist Giuseppe Penone’s tree sculptures create this very effect, providing a window through which to witness the passing of time in the blink of an instant.

Consider further that, from the point of view of the present, the younger tree is really the aged ancestor from which the larger tree has descended. Think of the way that the tree’s younger shape has, through the years, faithfully contributed to the structure and function of the current tree, helping ensure its stability, growth, and fruitfulness, as each year a new cycle of seasons adds a living layer that depends on the support this sturdy forebear faithfully provides.

Does this image not provide a wonderful way to think of a living tradition of faith? As each generation does its new thing, as it must, it does so in a way that is sustained by and patterned after the contours of what has come before. Psalm 145 speaks of one generation lauding God’s mighty acts to another, as if, by sharing these stories of God’s love for the good, broken world God made, the older generation gives the new one what it needs to continue to grow and be built up in that very faithfulness.

Like other Christian schools, ICS works at this intimate and vulnerable point of connection between the generations. While we arrive on the scene a little later than most other such institutions, we nonetheless participate in the vital work of helping a new generation understand what faithfulness means in these incredibly challenging times. We thereby demonstrate patterns of faithfulness for our students to emulate, patterns which will in turn help them laud our Maker’s mighty acts to future generations.

What are these mighty acts of which the Psalmist speaks? They are acts of liberation and exodus from systems of oppression, domination, and death. They are acts that serve as “good news” for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger in our midst. They are the everyday miracles that save the world, bit by bit, mite by mite. God’s mighty acts reveal the way God wants us to follow, and Jesus Messiah goes so far as to tell us that the way we pursue justice for those in need is identical to the way we treat God (Matthew 25:31 ff.). When the generation who leads us shows us through the good fruit of their lives how we are to follow our Maker and Redeemer’s shalom way, scripture counsels us to “imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7). And just so, another ring grows around the tree.

We join in this work together, friends. Thank you for sharing our efforts to laud God’s mighty acts to future generations!

Shalom, and again I say, shalom!

Ron Kuipers