Posted by: morgan1965 | June 26, 2009

A Message For Youth

For a number of years, the youth of the West Virginia Annual Conference have been gathering for the Summer Youth Celebration on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Youth spend their time together in worship, study, prayer and covenant conversations. It is a real celebration time.

Each year the youth invite the Resident Bishop and the Extended Cabinet to join them for their Monday evening worship service. I always accept this invitation with a certain degree of anticipation and excitement. I confess that I ponder at length what message I can share with the gathered you.

Last Monday evening, June 22, 2009 we gathered for worship in the Wesley Chapel. My sermon title was “The Future Is Yours.” This was both a challenge and an invitation. It was a challenge in that the youth would have to prepare for their future, and embrace their own future. It was an invitation to enter into their future – now.

First, if youth accept the notion that the future is theirs, they will want to “order their steps.” As pilgrim disciples, we order our steps in God’s Word. We remember that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus calls us to follow him and enter into a transformed life. Jesus, himself, developed in a fourfold manner by increasing in wisdom, knowledge and in his relationship with God and his relationships with other human beings.

Second, youth must strive to be prepared for whatever they might encounter in life, even as Jesus prepared for living life and doing his ministry. Boy Scouts are taught to be prepared. We prepare for sports participation by practicing. We prepare for life by asking God for wisdom, gaining knowledge through learning, and learning to love God and our neighbors.

Third, if we are going to enter into a meaningful future, we must “live in community.” The people in the early church learned to live in community. By learning to live in community, we move toward a state of unity. Nations learn to live in community by learning and employing the dynamics of peace, leadership and governance.

I believe that youth will help us to learn how to live in community and unity in Jesus Christ. In part, they will do this by entering into their own future – now.

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