Such a Beautiful Witness to Life and Promise #YouthSunday #Stronger

Be very brave and strong as you carefully obey all of the Instruction that Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t deviate even a bit from it, either to the right or left. Then you will have success wherever you go… I’ve commanded you to be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7.9

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One of the joys of being part of WFPC is the ever-present herd of vibrant, enthusiastic, faithful young people who are a vital part of pretty much everything that goes on. They add such life and passion to our witness; they are beautiful and they are Good News personified.

Yesterday they took Youth Sunday as an opportunity to tell us – to demonstrate to us – what the message of Jesus looks like to them and how they understand and live it. They sang songs, they led us in worship, they prayed, they shared scripture (a ton of it), and four of the seniors filled the sermon time with reflections around the theme of “Stronger.”

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  • Because God loves us…
  • Because Jesus took my brokenness and healed me…
  • Because life is not easy…
  • Because we are part of this dynamic faith community…
  • Because I/we/you turn to Jesus…
  • Because the Holy Spirit gives me a strength I never knew was available…
  • Because we live in community…
  • Because I am weak…

Because of all this, we are stronger, I am stronger, you are stronger.

At The Cross:

The beginning of the service set the stage in a powerful way – especially at 9:00 but even at 11:15 when I knew what was coming. You can see in the sequence of photos below that several of the youth are carrying something heavy, but with such care and reverence. Then the next set of teens follow them in, with what appears to be a heavy length of wood, then another, all the while with a powerful piece of music playing. And it begins to become apparent that what they are doing is assembling a cross at the front of the sanctuary.

1-DSC_1477Then other groups come in, just as slowly, carrying banners they have made. And they fasten them up at the front.

It is a procession, a kind of hybrid procession and parade. They all came in, filling the choir and the front few rows of the church, silently, prayerfully, pouring themselves and their intention to worship into the physical space, filling it with such an authentic spirit of reverence that there were tears in the eyes of many in the crowd before the first word was spoken.

Look a the photographs:

So take a look at these photographs and view them in two ways.

  • First, as a silent documentation – in sequence – of welcome and worship, from the greeters at the door to gathering before the service, to the introduction by fearless youth director Janet Briley, to the worship experience itself.
  • Then view them as a testimony to the sheer unmitigated joy and beauty of youth.

Yes, these young people are beautiful. The girls and the boys, the young women and the young men. Each one of theme shines with the kind of authentic light this world needs to see.

Lord, in your love and mercy, you have gifted these teens to this world. May their future be full of your purpose and your grace. Amen

 



Categories: culture, faith, leadership, message, photogrpahy, The Church

Tags: , , , , ,

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