One of the greatest joys of my ministry is the time I spend with our youth. Full of energy and laughter, our youth inspire and challenge me. Listening to their thoughts, ideas, passions and beliefs I find my own faith renewed in our time together. This Sunday the senior high will be leading us in worship. As they’ve been preparing and planning for this worship service, it’s been a delight to hear how the scripture for Sunday touches their lives. I look forward to sharing in worship with them and you this Sunday and seeing how their words touch all of us.
Along with hearing the voices of our youth, Youth Sunday excites me because it affirms what we as a Reformed people believe – God can and does speak to all of us. John and I have years of training and experience, yes, but that’s not what allows us to stand up in the pulpit and proclaim the Word of God. The Spirit is what empowers us – all of us: John, me, you, our youth. The Spirit is what moves us and gives us the words to speak. Every one of us can proclaim the Word of God.
Covenant affirms that truth in a variety of ways – from Youth Sunday and Children’s Sunday (this year on April 27th) to the Word proclaimed in October by lay leaders. We know it’s not just Ministers of Word and Sacrament to whom the Spirit speaks. The Word is also proclaimed on other days than Sunday and other places than the pulpit. Listening to and participating in conversations about God in Bible studies, at dinner on Wednesdays, around the kitchen table when I’ve been invited over for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I have heard the Word proclaimed. Sorting cans with you for the Salvation Army, repairing homes with you in Mississippi, seeing money donated to Heifer International instead of buying more stuff for loved ones, I have witnessed the Word proclaimed.
It’s quite a privilege to hear such powerful proclamations. Keep on proclaiming the Word with your words and your lives. As I’ve said to the youth, let me say to all of you: preach it, preacher!