“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'” (Luke 18:16)
On Sunday I issued you a big challenge, be brave, step out in faith and take the responsibility for raising up future generations. That is an incredibly daunting task but it starts with the smallest thing, the first step is always this: show up.
We often hear people talk about how we as Christians don’t need to be perfect before God. We remind ourselves that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) We take comfort in the fact that we can come just as we are, without one plea. However, we cannot seem to grasp that when the apostle Paul writes in Romans “we” and “us” he means more than just me or you. He doesn’t mean while you individually were still a sinner Christ died for you while everyone else in the room was perfect. He means all of us, so take a moment, take a breath and realize that our church is full of imperfect, unfinished, sinners.
We often let fear dictate whether or not we can have an impact in someone’s life. We tell ourselves we had better get our act together first. Or worse, we compare our lives to everyone else’s thinking that they must be happier, better suited for the task at hand.
I’m reading a great book called Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist and she has a perfect example of how we do this. She talks about being certain some days that skinny women must be happier and there are days if she were skinny and having a bad day she would just put on a bikini and the sadness would vanish.
“I know miserable skinny people. But I confess that sometimes I want to shake them. I know, I know, this or that has got you down, but find a three-way mirror and look at your butt. Don’t you feel better now? I know I would.”
We do this all the time, for me some days for me the conversation is the exact same but some days I want to say “Look at the numbers in your bank account” or “Look at the stamps in your passport” I just know I would feel better if those were different in my life. I just know I could make a difference if things were different for me.
Let me be very clear, that is a complete and utter lie.
Our kids, which I told you is anyone younger than you that you refer to as a kid (e.g. me), depend on you to show up. They aren’t going to pick out your flaws like you do. They aren’t going to judge you for them. In fact I’ve found more often than not, when you can admit them with some humility and some humor they will respect you more for it. They need to know you’re not perfect so when they see they aren’t either they don’t feel like they’ve failed.
So show up, come to youth group, call Noah and ask how you can help. Show up, talk to Megan and Lynn about children’s ministry, nursery and Sunday School. Show up, be friendly, goofy, and so nervous your palms are sweating but show up any way. And if you would like to hear from someone who is less of a kid talk about how important it is to show up, come to the Sammamish Teen Center on June 10 and listen to Chap Clark. Come if you don’t have kids, come if you do, come if you know any, just show up and learn how to take these next steps of faith.