Undseth Unites Literature to the Lord
Story by: Kelly DzIAlo
Mark 14:6 is written on the board. The date written above it. Below, "apple" is written in tiny lettering and "us" in large lettering. The class takes their seats at the bell, discussing the weird words on the board. Finally, someone says "Minneapolis!" Students settle, class begins.
Mr. Undseth recites, "'Leave her alone,' said Jesus. 'Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.'" The verse speaks to the account of Mary pouring her most prized possession, perfume, on Jesus. Mr. Undseth continues, saying we may be criticized for wasting our lives for Jesus as Mary "wasted" her perfume. He warns the class not to be fooled, anything they do for Jesus is beautiful. Jesus is worthy.
Tying in the week's vocabulary words, Mr. Undseth highlights the word dissension, noting the conflict between Mary and those rebuking her, helping students understand the word's definition with Biblical reference. Mary's act of tribute and praise, or encomium, is easily understood through Mr. Undseth's reference. Glory is understood through vocab.
As the class eases further into literature, Mr. Undseth unites the discipline of reading and comprehension, discovering the character of God in the study of literature. "Literature is about life, and God is the giver of life, and so God has something to say about every aspect of life." Class time with Mr. Undseth feels like a Bible class, while he mentors students through prayer and conversation, he also teaches literature. "Studying literature is very apropos to a Christian worldview, and it's very easy to incorporate scripture because the Bible is literature." Teaching the Bible with academics.