Thursday, January 22, 2009

Youth Sunday

This Sunday, January 25th, will be Youth Sunday at BBC. I, for one, am excited about the opportunity that our church is giving our young people to lead in several capacities during the morning worship service. We'll have students: leading worship, playing a special music, performing a skit, doing the offering, being greeters, etc. I am blessed with the opportunity to preach this Sunday morning and am excited to share God's Word with you all.

There's is a passage in Job that I often think about when I consider the value of young people and how they can contribute understanding and service even to those of us who are older...Job and his friends have been having this back and forth conversation, and both sides made some good points but still seem to be missing the point of it all. Then steps in this younger man named Elihu who offers what seems to be the book's best interpretation of what is really going on in Job's life. Here's the scene Job 32 portrays:

"Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger because he (Job) justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.
And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:
'I am young in years, and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you.
I said, "Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom."
But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.
Therefore I say, "Listen to me;
let me also declare my opinion...""

Elihu then goes on to put Job's suffering in proper perspective, defending God in the process. Even though he was young, he knew the Truth and had a zeal for God's glory that those who were older than him seemed to not possess. He's not trying to say that there should be no respect for our elders--no, quite the opposite. He said that he waited to listen to them precisely because he respected them as his elders. But age does not equal spiritual maturity or wisdom necessarily. The Bible is full of examples like Elihu, who though younger in years, are full of wisdom. So this Sunday, let's be willing to be led by the young and to share in what they are learning. And as the adults of our church, let's keep investing in them and be glad when they mature and even challenge us at times (in a respectful way of course).

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