In the next week, we will gather on the Lord’s Day, as we always do in order to worship together, but the voices and faces of our youth will lead us as we worship. On Sunday, February 22, we are grateful for the opportunity to hear from our youth. They are already preparing prayerfully the words they will offer and the message we will hear.

Each year, we make room in the room of the sanctuary for our youth to lead because we need to hear from them. We need to hear from the depths of their faith and to remember how we share in their journey. One of the gifts of the shared journey of faith is the connection between us all, including all of us from eight years old to eighty years old. The church is one of those rare places, where we find those connections, which are indispensible to our faith. Hearing from our youth helps us remember the earlier experiences of our journey as well as opening us up to the future that will come.

We gather in order to hear from our youth, but we also gather to say something to them. When they lead in worship, we have a unique opportunity to say something that we always know to be true, but that we do not always have the chance to say. We can tell them about all of the good things we see inside of them, as they demonstrate insight, maturity, compassion, and wisdom.

We all need someone in our lives to point out the goodness inside of us because it is often difficult for us to see ourselves. We make room in the room of the sanctuary to hear their voices, but so they can hear our voices as well, saying, “We see such poise and purpose, promise and possibility in your lives.”

One of the ways in which we see such goodness in their lives is an event the youth group is planning for Sunday afternoon, March 8. With resources from their parking lot fund, they are sponsoring a meal-packaging event through Stop Hunger Now, an organization that works against global hunger. On this afternoon, the youth are inviting members of the congregation to join them, as they pack 10,000 meals, which will be delivered to people who are the most vulnerable in this world. It is one of those moments, where the church can say, “We see such insight and maturity, compassion and wisdom in your lives.”

~Tripp Martin

Auburn First Baptist Church