Have you ever been working on an idea, trying to put something together, etc. and feel like you’re missing something? Kare and I have been working the last couple of weeks on putting together a ‘vision’ for the youth group – something to focus on this semester/ year/ life… you know? Well, we’ve decided that Jesus is a pretty good place to start. Kind of obvious, right? Well, you’d be surprised by the amount/ percentage/ whatever of youth groups who forget (or completely leave out) to teach Jesus! Well, originally, we wanted to focus on ‘living a life that comes out of Christ’, with our “theme” verse being Acts 17.28 – “In Him we live and move, and have our being”. This seemed all well and good, but it seemed like something was missing – and I probably could not have told you what was missing until we found it. But, after speaking to our beloved friend, mentor, and (now) youth ministry resource, we filled in that missing piece. It is a desirable thing to live a life of faith… HOWEVER… it is only half of what we are called to do. We cannot just live a life with faith – we have to do something with it! I was pointed to Mark 12.28-31; a scribe asks Jesus which is the “most important commandment”, Jesus responds, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. AND the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
You see, we can’t have one without the other. We can’t have faith and do nothing with it; and we can’t live fully nor get to heaven by ‘doing things’. Josh pointed out that we are always so focused on Ephesians 2.8 & 9 that we forget about verse 10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” We were made not, to simply live in our faith, we were made to do things with that faith; and doing things means loving those around us – those we like and love, and those we don’t like us so much.
So, our semester/ year/ life has boiled down to Loving God and Loving People. To love and seek after God is to say, ‘Mold me; grow me; use me…” To love people is to put our faith into action; it’s being molded and being used. As it was explained to me, “faith and works are separate, but inseperable.” You can’t have one without the other.
Thus our missing piece. If we are going to live and model a life of faith, we cannot forget to live faith in action- to love the people in our world as we have been loved.
Peace, and popsicles