Sunday, January 16, 2011

come and see

come and see what’s happening in the world
come and see what God is up to

this, I believe, is what young people long for
this is what they are searching for,
what they are wanting from their communities of faith

sometimes I wonder, though, what they see when they look
when they come into a congregation
do they see people for whom faith makes a palpable difference?
do they see people who are willing to share their faith
or, more than that, who cannot help but to share their faith
do they see people who are honest about their differences of opinion
and who talk about their differences of opinion with faithful respect
and then gather around the same table to eat together
fed, and made whole, by the body and blood of Christ?

whether or not we feel like sharing our faith with young people
we do ~ anytime anyond encounters us, even from across the room
we are sharing our faith,
whether we want to or not

and while they may appear to be mostly interested in
wearing baggy ripped jeans and listening to their ipods
I am always surprised by the questions they ask

a sample of some I heard recently from middle schoolers is:
* how should I read the bible?
* what is heaven like, and will I make it?
* is satan more powerful than God?
* if the world was created perfect, why is there poverty and inequality?

and these are not trivial questions
these are not purely academic questions
they are real, and they come from a place of real and heartfelt
questioning and exploring of their faith

so I wonder about the church,
do we want to let these questions
the questions young people are asking
do we want to let them just float out there
to be answered by a society that cares more about making money
than about making disciples?

or do we want to invite young people to come and see?
come and see, young people,
what a difference this faith thing makes for me
come and see my life, which is as broken and messed up as anyone’s
but come and see, because I know the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

and then, do we dare to ask,
‘where, young people, do you see and experience God?’

are we willing to take the present and future faith of the church seriously enough
to ignore questionable clothing choices and a sullen attitude often born of insecurity
in order to engage these vital members of the body of Christ in real and meaningful ways?
these members of the body of Christ who are sinners just as we are
these members of the body of Christ, who are forgiven
by the immeasurable grace and love of God
just as we are

come and see

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