John 3:21 says this, in Tom Wright’s New Testament for Everyone:
People who do the truth, come to the light.
We pondered this yesterday as a dozen of us gathered to pray and receive commissioning from God for the work of the year ahead. It is an odd phrase, to do the truth, and yet it feels more authentic, more earthy than the NIV’s “live by the truth.”
It makes the truth less of a standard and more of an object about which we make life choices and live within. It offers other possibilities and questions: Have you done the truth today? Are you still in the truth? Are you done with the truth yet?
In collective worship this morning, the first of the year, we revisited briefly the beautiful image, now over five years old, that symbolises the virtue of truth in Pumpkin Class (Year 2). The candle makes the link between truth and light – we talked about burglars not wanting to work during daylight because they could not get away unseen. They don’t do truth, and therefore they do not want light. We know from a very young age that if we want to do something unethical, illegal or just horrid, then out of the light is the best place we can choose.
We ran out of time today to explore what “doing the truth” might look like with the children, and might return to it again soon. However, we spent part of yesterday with school adults, re-training (for most) and training for the first time (for many) in Restorative Practice, the best training we have ever received on “doing the truth” in the effectual construction of respectful and affectionate relationships. We are huge fans and adherents of restorative work as a school – our behaviour and anti-bullying policies are all part of a “restorative relationships policy” which we regularly update. But in the 5-6 years since we all first received training from Tom Macready and Paul Carlile from the Restorative Foundation in Milton Keynes, much has been learnt by the foundation itself and some new approaches with pupils and parents pioneered. So quite a lot of what appears in the presentation I have attached here is influenced by the new work of the foundation since 2012. We have tried hard to keep in step with it, and have worked hard to root it in our vision and in our Christian identity. Here I publish the presentation that drove the training yesterday: a way of shedding light on a heart-felt and practical means of “doing truth.”