I am only young

For October 29, 2009

In case you missed last week’s devotional email -- or didn’t realize it hadn’t showed up in your inbox -- this week is a “two-fer”, a look back on the last two Sundays at Westside.  These past two weeks carry a thematic link, not so much by design but serendipitously (love that word: it means the happy discovery of something very good, and seemingly by accident).  Care to make a guess at what it was?

A week ago last Sunday we began our series You Are Here: Jeremiah on Life in the City.  Our intention is to consider both the meaning of cities, and the meaning of being placed in this city: just how are we to live and think about the city we find ourselves in?  But to launch into that idea we had to begin at the beginning, where Jeremiah begins, with an awareness of his youth (“I’m only young”, Jer. 1:6).  And then, this past Sunday we welcomed Randy Carter, our new student ministries consultant.  Randy has joined our team to help us renew and re-strategize our vision for student ministries.  If you didn’t hear his passionate call, get the podcast.  Perhaps you would like to get involved.

But there you have the thematic link: an emphasis on youth two Sundays in a row.  I don’t think this came by our conscious design.  But now that it has happened, let’s think about it for a moment or two.  Important messages tend to need repeating.

To be young means many things of course, and more than just the obvious.  To be young means that one has more future than past, is more shapable than rigid, is more dependent than self-sufficient, has more possibility than ability.  Youth is a state of being as much as a quantification; it is a status as much as a chronology.  In the same way that God chooses to work through people who are not so full of their own achievements, God chooses the young.

If you are in the middle of your strong years, perhaps I might congratulate you.  Or, maybe not.  Maybe your strengths limit the possibilities of real and meaningful change.  The real truth, the gospel (good news) truth, is that our significance comes through the discovery of a continually unfolding future, the invitation to change, the joy of dependence.  That is the lesson I hear coming through right now, a lesson that is happily discovered (serendipitously) when we pay attention to how God changes us and the world through us.

We continue our series in Jeremiah this Sunday.  See you at 9:29 or 11:11.

Bob Osborne