Talk about candid answers! I asked some youth a series of questions to launch into devotional topics of naming and dealing with our fears; at least that’s where I thought we were going. But the Holy Spirit had a different plan.
I asked them what things they were most concerned about or fearful of due to all of the things we see going on in our world today and why? Here’s what they said:
They are most worried about their future, or if they will even have one, given the current wars and the threats of possible future wars.
Then I asked them what gave them the most joy?
Doing what they were doing right then. That is, sitting in a group of friends and peers and opening up and conversing with one another about things near and dear to their hearts.
It was being together. It was being in a community. This makes me wonder about all those things like FACEBOOK, Snap Chat and Twitter. Whether young or old, is what we are all looking for in our “hurry-up” world; with all the advances of technology really just ways to be in a community? Is this our way of feeling like we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves? Do we reach out even to strangers so that we can feel like we belong?
I then asked them what they were most hopeful for, without exception, each of them said: “having a family.”
In John 17:20-26 Jesus is praying not only for his disciples, but for all who will follow him.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
I think what Jesus is saying is that we all can be a family. Just as the Father is in Him and HE is in the Father, he prays that we will be united in this eternal family.
Sometimes we are too quick to think that our youth have “TUNED US OUT” or we may think they are too caught up in the complex world of today that they have no interest in us older folks; yet they long for the very same thing, family and it’s most prized possession…LOVE.
Perhaps God has brought someone into your life that is searching for a place to belong. They may be searching for a real family.
I leave you with this task. Invite at least one person that perhaps you didn’t know six weeks or six months ago to come to Church with you.
If we are called to be a family of one, then maybe YOU can help make this happen.
Your brother in Christ,
Rev. L. Bryan McClain