Sometimes, even when you are tired in body, God can lift you up on the mountain and make you want to shout Glory.
Sunday morning in church at Tapp UMC, I wanted to shout like my father in law used to do as we heard about the work of God, the very essence of Christianity, being done by a group of young people and a few adult leaders as they served last week with UM Army.
It brought me to tears as I heard the sacrifices they happily endured to do something nice for complete strangers.
I mean, these kids took a week out of their summer to go to a place they did not know and minister to people they did not know.
A man from Red Bayou Methodist even showed up to help and saved the day when things looked dire.
Is that not the most perfect picture of Christ?
I don’t know all of these kids, I barely know any of them. I have met Conner, Trent, and Josh and I see the others in church, but Sunday, after hearing what they did, my heart swelled with love for all of them. What they did makes me want to know them all and watch their lives.
We all need to be more like these kids. What they did last week was to put aside their own wants and needs and look solely at the needs of others. They showed love without any compensation or gain of their own.
I learned a lesson Sunday morning from a bunch of young people.
Maybe you can too. Maybe we all should quit whining and complaining about what we perceive has been done to us. Perhaps us “Christians” should take a closer look at our lives and see if we reflect Christ, like these kids just did? We can all eat the “mystery meat” and share our Sonic drinks with strangers.
As adults, we often get in a way of thinking that we know what we are doing, we don’t need any lessons, and we surely don’t expect we can ever learn anything from a bunch of teenagers. No, these days, we like to look down on those who we think aren’t as sage. We think, “there is no way I could learn anything from a bunch of kids.”
That is an interesting concept in light of the fact that Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I wonder, what do our children and our grandchildren see when they look at us closely. Do they see Christ? Do they see us living the life that we talk about on Sunday morning or acting they way we want them to act?
Or, do our young people see and hear us quoting Bible verses when it suits us and then jumping on social media to gossip away, spew hate, and belittle others?” Do our kids see us sitting on the pew in church and singing in the choir in the morning and then sitting in a recliner cursing at the TV in the afternoon, or maybe watching what amounts to pornography after dark?
Does the next generation of leaders have good role models to follow? Are their leaders, church leaders, local politicians, and national decision makers, the kind of people that they can pattern themselves after to be good leaders ten years from now?
I shudder to think where we will be in 10 or 20 years if the leaders of tomorrow use our current leaders as a template.
When I think about Conner, Trent, Josh and the other young people of my church, I pray that they do better than us. I pray that when the days come that they are the civic leaders, the role models, and those who make decisions for the masses, that they don’t look at CNN, Fox News, or social media feeds for their inspirations.
I pray today that they will follow the simple words of the greatest leader and role model that ever lived.
He said, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”---Jesus Christ Mark 10:42-45