Evening all. Normally I have a rule (maybe an observation) about my posting, that being if I’m away longer than I expected to be, that’s either because work is overwhelming, or that I’m sharing Christ so much more on the street level that I’ve not thought to share anything online. Last week was something else though, over fifty hours worked AND teaching/preaching Jesus on the streets of London. It’s been an awesome week, and this week’s looking to be even better. Today we had our Sunday school’s anniversary, and to mark that the church held a service for the youth, meaning youth prayers, youth songs, almost everything done by the young people. Being the teacher I was asked if I’d be willing to do the talk for the day, now, what readers might not know about me is I’m not the most sociable person. I tell my pastor this over steak, “You know I’m not NATUALLY a talker, right? I don’t wake up thinking oh man, can’t wait for MORE people time today.” That’s just not me, maybe it’s a guy thing, still, God tells us not to abandon the congregation, Jesus teaches where we gather in His name, there He is too. So how could I not gather? Being a community kinda guy is just something that happened to me when being a selfish jerk got overwhelmed by love for Christ.
Members of my class weren’t super eager to speak on stage either, although they’re teens, that’s natural, they all want the out of body experience (rather than listen to what you’re trying to tell ’em). So I promised I’d speak if they would, well played eh? One of the more energetic members (let’s call her Clare) agreed and wanted to speak on abortion (we’d been doing classes on the subject for over a month), I asked that they work a lot of scripture into their presentation, which thank God they did.
Marking the occasion, I’m updating here to say they did an amazing job. They shared confidently, speaking even longer than I did afterwards. They brought scripture into the mix I’d never thought of using, their passion for the unborn was in their tone of voice at the most passionate moments. I didn’t say I was proud of them right away, because in front of everyone that would’ve been patronizing right? Instead I found a moment after the service to give them a heads up in the foyer, taking home two slices of free cake and a paper plate I ate from on the walk home (keepin’ it classy!)
Anyway, the church organizers didn’t want me to speak for very long considering this was a youth service, instead everybody wanted to get out of church by 12 something (I know, I know, bite your tongues). Still wanting to share something I asked that the youth read two sections of scripture for me. Here they are. . .
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With that set up read by the class, I wanted to wind the morning down. . .these are the notes from my phone I planned to read on the day (a rough outline of how it went).
Thanks everyone for coming out to worship Christ and to celebrate the young people.
My name’s Ty, and I teach the Sunday school here at church.
Now the Sunday classes go on for about two hours, maybe an hour and a half.
So if there are no questions at the end we should get out of church by. . . .3ish
Maybe not today.
Today we read how neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus our Lord.
That Spirit of love is a gift for you and for your children.
It’s our inheritance.
Inheriting this gift means that your children and grand children have found real safety.
His promises are safer than any amount of money in your bank account.
His promises are safer than the best doctors that the NHS can provide.
His promises are safer than owning knives and guns and pit bulls.
To the people who know Jesus, they’ve found in Him a perfect Saviour.
But many people don’t know Him.
Think of men like the late Steve Jobs, a multi billionaire.
He was rich, intelligent and motivated to be a success.
That’s not safety though (it’s just comfort).
In our Bibles King Solomon wrote he had to leave everything he’d worked so hard for to someone else.
(And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish?)
That’s the inheritance men leave to us.
Where rust decays and thieves break in and steal.
Thank God His gifts to you are so different from Solomon’s silver and gold.
Not only has He given us His Spirit.
Psalms teaches that children are a gift from the Lord.
(I wonder how many of you have already been blessed?)
Can I get a show of hands, parents, grand parents and great grand parents.
How many of you worry about the future of your children and grandchildren?
That’s a lot of hands.
Parents are frightened.
Parents need ADVICE.
And as an unmarried, childless man, I feel I’m the MOST qualified to give parenting advice.
My advice is simply this: we find out who we really are when we’re living in our community.
I didn’t know who I WAS until I knew who Jesus IS.
And your family often don’t know who they are until they see who you are.
So it starts with you, the parents and grandparents.
When you pray over meals your children pray over meals.
When you listen to Christian music your children & your grandchildren listen to Christian music.
When you come to the evening Bible study on Wednesday they come to the Bible study.
In the gospel of John Jesus taught.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does also.”
Jesus does what the Father does.
And your family will do the things that you do.
So to the grownups in the church, don’t wait for tomorrow to be a better Christian.
Sometimes tomorrow doesn’t come.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 50.
If you feel God isn’t done with you yet.
And if you feel you want more of His Spirit.
If you feel like you just want to get started.
You can find that Spirit in prayer, in His word, and in becoming friends with THIS family.
We’re part of your family.
I know if pastor and I walked out onto the street and I said he was my big brother we’d got some very strange looks.
Some of you who are more observant will notice we’re not 100% identical.
It’s close, but not 100%.
We’d have to answer some hard questions about how he was conceived.
Or how I was.
I know who I am because of him, I know who I am because of the class every Sunday, and I discovered who I was because of Jesus.
So don’t wait.
Find out who you are through us all in the church.
The promises are for you and for your children after all.
God bless everybody and have a wonderful Sunday.
PS my jokes bombed, the 100% identical thing is funny because my pastor is a big black guy from Kenya (I’m thin and white), I got nothing from it. Same with the other jokes, childless and unmarried, come on, that’s clean and hilarious, I got nothin’. Although I did break the crowd thanks to two ladies who wanted to have a little natter at the back of the church, for which I could get them with “If you talk in church your children WILL talk in church.” 😛 So it was all in good fun.
God bless and hopefully you’re joining me in church next week wherever you are in the world.
― T. C. M