A Youth sermon delivered originally on June 14th, 2020. Because this sermon was originally delivered over Zoom, and not recorded, I re-recorded it.
Background: With the horrific death of George Floyd and shooting of Breonna Taylor, the continuation of Coronavirus virus’ spread, and the school year ending, my students had a lot on their minds. The history and present of racial harm and wounds, questions of what was necessary for healing of great wrong done in our society, to their everyday: having a friend moving, to the annoyance at being at home more than they imagined this Summer, there was a lot for them to think about.
On Instagram, and other social media, students posted about such current events, and missing friends. Some attended local protests. Some wondered why they saw reports of rioting in other cities, and were frustrated. Some were still staying firmly in place, feeling the vulnerability of them or their family member’s potential to catch the virus. And more than a few wondered when “normal” would be coming by again.
This sermon was meant as an encouragement that Jesus may always surprise us, but he will never fail us. That, whatever our situation, Jesus is watching over us, Jesus’ Godly authority is in his lowly humanity, and Jesus is worth following because he perfectly obeys the Father.
The conversation after the sermon was fruitful.
We discussed these questions afterward:
1)Where do we see false idols, false understandings of God in our own lives?
2)What makes it difficult to see who Jesus is?
3)How do we trust him in the middle of difficult times?
It’s tempting to think that either we have to do everything or nothing—either God is in control and going to do it without us caring, or God isn’t going to do anything.
One student asked: Does God still act like in the Bible? The Israelites escaped Israel. What about people in slavery today? Why doesn’t God lead them out of bondage.
Another said idols are hard to avoid: “Sometimes it’s hard because I think there’s a difference between the Old Testament and New Testament God, even when we say there is not.”
Other comments from our conversation:
“I think we can be unforgiving toward others who don’t see what we see, or see the world like we do. We can get caught up being right, and look down on others.”
Another student asked: “What if God working doesn’t look as obvious as God stopping a big storm? How do we follow God then?
And another noted how mentors in the faith are important to her. That she has examples of people who had gone before. And sometimes that helps her know what to do.