Monday, September 24, 2012

Jesus was a Young Adult

Jesus was a Young Adult.
According to Luke’s gospel he was just 30 when he began his ministry. Some dating sources say he may have been younger.

Today we are being given the gift of a taste of the Young Adult Conference. Jonathan and Suzanne from our congregation, attended conference. We are blessed to have Nathan and Jenn with us from Washington who were two of the presenters at the conference.

During that week in Tennessee the presenters and attendees concentrated their reflection on the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps the most important scripture for all Christians. Certainly Brethren have always thought so.

I’m sure you will agree that getting a ‘taste’ (as Jonathan likes to call it) of the conference is important. The reason it is the center of our worship today comes straight from Jesus’ words in Matthew 7. 
“Go in through the narrow gate.” he says, “The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to LIFE is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it.”  (CEB)

What could be more important at any age, than finding the ‘Gate that leads to LIFE’?

If you are older than 35 or 40, (COB YA’s up to 40) think back to your 1st job, that 1st paycheck that you had to figure out how to divide up.
I’m sure your church contribution came first in your budget...
Rent, car payment, school loans, insurance, utilities, other bills, and food. Not to mention clothes for that new job and hopefully SOME recreation.
How to use your income  - is addressed in the Sermon on the Mount.
What was your first job? The occupation you choose and How you act at work and among friends, the choices your priorities create.. are the concern  - of the Sermon on the Mount.

Where you choose to live, who becomes your best friend or life mate, how you relate to your family and those around you. . all the decisions of Young Adult life are dealt with - in the Sermon on the Mount...
And those concerns don’t end when we grow older.
Just as the words of Jesus’ sermon NEVER stop being our guide.

What CAN happen as we age, is we become more acclimated to the world around us.
The decisions we make as Young Adults along with the decisions we choose NOT to make, begin to form who we are.  For some people, these choices make it harder and harder to reflect on the REALLY IMPORTANT parts of life.

Today we get to hear ‘fresh’ wisdom. 
No doubt there is value to the wisdom of the ages.. Those attending the Senior Adult Retreat on October 4 will offer each other some of that ‘shared wisdom’ of age. But if those of us with a few years will think back, we may remember a time when we were more idealistic, less colored by the world. . making it very important to remember - that Jesus was a Young Adult.

Don Kraybill called the ‘Kingdom’ that Jesus inaugurated the ‘Upside-Down Kingdom’ in his 1978 book. 

He compares Jesus’ wisdom to that of Jesus’ day and that of 1970s... a time when many of us were young adults. 
Kraybill reminds the Christian church that when ‘we’ are faithful to our mission to be in the world, but not of it, the church is a prophetic minority or (perhaps) a deviant subculture. 
He says, “Jesus had no illusions of a Christian society. .instead he often described the spirit of His age with the words, “THIS Generation” - not said in a pleasant way!.

He described the larger society as the ‘broad way’ which leads to destruction, saying His followers were to walk the narrow way which leads to life.”

“But the narrow way is not separated physically from the broad one. The narrow way is in the world. As salt, light, penetrate the people who are in the world.”
 We will hear more about those elements in a moment.

Jesus points us to the narrow way, even today. What Christians MUST remember is, once you commit to the narrow pass, you need to hang out with ALL the other people who also have committed to the narrow way. 
We are those people. ALL OF US - people of every age.

Perhaps Young Adulthood is a time when the choice of narrow or wide is clearer. But it never stops being a choice.
And young adult leaders, are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today. Here to help us ALL traverse the narrow way.

I trust that today is a day when our ears will once again be like Jesus’ ears, young adult ears - regardless if you are older or younger. I am sure that today, if we will wait and listen, we will once again, hear the Lord. 

No comments: