In Ephesians 6, Paul admonishes us to put on the full armor of God so we are prepared to take our stand for God’s kingdom. There are spiritual battles that we face each day. This fight can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Students today face so many difficult things. Gossip and judgement. Bullying and violence. Addictions to substances, images, and screens of various sorts. Uncertainty about the future. Verbal or physical abuse. Lack of trust with family and other authorities. A general overscheduled and over stressed pace of life. Although the battle can be difficult, there is so much hope!
I am privileged to also see many students who are full of joy, compassion, intelligence, leadership, and hope. Throughout the year our amazing young adults encourage me so much and give me hope. For example, our students worked diligently to serve children and families in Haiti who had so little. It warms my heart to have spiritual conversations with our confirmation students as they wrestle with what they believe.
I was encouraged when our students strongly supported our campaign to fight malaria. In fact they are helping sponsor a 5k walk/run event on April 16th to raise funds for the campaign. If you want to get more information to be a financial sponsor for the race or sign up as a participant, you can go to www.hydeparkchurch.org/imaginenomalaria. Although there is a battle, our students can stand firm, grow in their faith, and make an impact for God’s kingdom.
Today at youth Sunday we celebrate the amazing gifts and talents of our students. I know that God is still moving in His church and we have a role to play as children of God.
We can celebrate that as children of God, we are not in the fight alone. We have each other and the very presence of God is with us. We can celebrate that as children of God; we have the tools necessary to sustain us during the battles we encounter. We celebrate that as children of God, we not only can overcome, but that we will be victorious.
Take a moment to encourage a young person today. Let them know they are valued. If you have a heart for students, contact me about how you can be involved in the student ministry at Hyde Park Community UMC. We are always looking for help in encouraging, teaching, and guiding our young people. Let us be prepared, stand firm, and know that God is with us.