Seventeen youth spent this past weekend being led in Bible study and worship by Dan and a former student at UNCC, Josh Crisp. I’m so appreciative of the folks who are willing to give their time to help our teenagers wrestle with scripture and faith. I’m thankful for Beth Heaton and Molly French, along with all the volunteer chaperones, for making time to spend with our youth. Teenagers need to see that practicing faith and living in community can be maintained after leaving the nest, and our volunteers model that so well for our youth.
The focus for the weekend was on the coming of God’s Kingdom and what might happen to us when this earthly body passes away. In our society, young people have so many worries: grades, tests, sports, college acceptance, discrimination, wars and rumors of wars, fear of the unknown. We all worry about mistakes we’ve made or people we’ve hurt. The list can go on and on.
On Sunday morning, I, accompanied by Jackson Knight, awoke up to catch the sunrise . As we sat there watching the sun peak over the horizon of the Atlantic, I reflected on the lyrics of a song we sang, “and I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way [God] loves us. Oh how he loves us.” I also thought about Dan’s message on the hope we must maintain in the coming Kingdom of God. We have hope of a new day and new beginnings. A hope that allows us to live life to the fullest even now.
As people, we mess up. But as followers of Jesus, we’re offered the opportunity to live as family. We exist in a community where we not only offer apologies when mistakes are made but open our hearts to forgive freely. We mustn’t linger in the darkness waiting for our lives and the world to worsen but uplift one another with a hopeful message.
Although the setting sun brings darkness, we are reminded that the sun will rise again to begin a new day and new moments for us to allow God’s kingdom to shine through our lives.