I wanted to share with everyone the excitement I felt this past Sunday morning (1/6/13) with our Youth. As the kids came to worship together in SLAM our Sunday School Teachers greeted them, but something was a little bit different. The kids came into SLAM with a new spirit for the New Year. We all noticed an excitement throughout our Youth that only a New Year can bring.
The Bible lesson was about the past year and what we would say our 2012 Legacy would be. The discussion quickly changed to reputations and what kinds of reputations there were in our schools. The kids identified several types – jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, bookworms, band geeks and druggies. They discussed why these identities were used and also how a teen would get that identity. Some were considered good and some were considered bad. We asked them if their reputation would be affected if they were to hang out with a group that was different. Most felt that this would definitely affect their reputation. Jesus probably had a reputation as well. When asked what they thought Jesus’ reputation was, most of the kids said it was good. But was it? It’s easy for us to look at Jesus and say he had a good reputation, be cause we know the whole story. Jesus chose to hang out with the unacceptable – tax collectors, lepers and prostitutes. He was more than likely associated with those he hung out with. We are all called upon to associate ourselves with those that are considered outcasts, to treat them as we would want to be treated. We read Matthew 22:39, ‘and the second is like the first: Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Being with these youth on Sunday mornings is a special blessing. It is a blessing to be involved with the spiritual discovery and growth our youth go through. As our Sunday School teachers often say, ‘Being with these teens is the best hour of my week!’ I invite each of you to visit us on Sunday morning while we worship in SLAM and discover for yourselves what a blessing our youth are to our church.