If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you. – Romans 8:11
One of the great joys in life is to witness and be a part of passion and enthusiasm. Maybe that is why I love children so much, and why I feel so encouraged and filled up when I attend our church – it’s the undeniable, irrepressible, authentic spirit of life.
Such was the case Wednesday evening when the WFPC youth took over our usual dinner and Bible-study time to present a program designed to both communicate what they are doing in mission and raise funds to support their work.
They put on some great acts, highlighted by the adult choir’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic anthem, “Hallelujah” (click on this link to listen to their wonderful interpretation). But it was the way our young people shared light and joy and love, and the winsome way they communicated just how committed and involved and motivated they are that touched my heart.
An Authentic Engagement with Jesus:
Obviously, this reflects well on the leadership of our staff (Katherine Peiper and Janet Briley) and the amazing team of volunteers. But no matter how talented and well-trained and diligent the adults, you can’t “organize” or “program” the Spirit of the Living God into teenagers. What is really going on in this place is an authentic engagement with Jesus, and the life we see filling the young people up and spilling out all over the place is the Spirit.
There may well be “a sweet, sweet spirit in this place…” but last night it was also loud, and boisterous, and full of fun. Because, yes, we serve that kind of a God, a God who wants so much to see The Church – his church – animated with that kind of spirit, the kind that you can’t ignore, the kind that changes lives and makes our community a better place.
Don’t miss out, friends, this life is for all of us – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.