Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hors d'oeuvres

Tonight will be the third youth group meeting since my last (rather depressing) post. I'm still very excited about what we're doing; coming up with new and creative ideas is a lot of fun. I'm not really sure how I made it through last year... After experiencing such joy preparing lessons and games this past month or so, I know that I mostly just floated through my first year of ministry. Thank goodness God can work through anything (even this crap I've been giving out!)!!!
This week's youth group lesson is about changing perspectives. I feel lucky to have been raised with a Christian worldview because it helps me to make sense of all the craziness that happens in this world every day, and I believe that all Christians should feel this way. Despite the pain that we see around us, we've got an "edge" because we can see the end game. The world's not supposed to be so full of darkness, and someday all of creation will be redeemed. We can offer something to the world around us, we can change people's perspectives and help them to see the beauty and grace that exists instead of only pain.

I was at CCO Staff Seminar on Thursday and Friday of this week, and (as usual) I picked up a few more items from my favorite bookseller. Included was one authored by a CCO staff member, called The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness. I read through almost the whole thing on Saturday, and it inspired a good portion of my youth group lesson for tonight. Let me share a quote with you:

"In the meantime [after Jesus' redemption of the world
and before the final consummation],
we enjoy morsels
of joy and peace. And part of our work is to serve them
about -- like
hors d'oeuvres before the banquet."
(Opitz & Melleby, 93)

I love that imagery!! We have this great thing, and we take it and put scary words like 'evangelism' on it and say it's too hard to do, instead of offering the goodness to everyone we meet. Just serve the hors d'oeuvres, people! It's our job!!!