Let me reassure anyone who is reading this right now that this blog is not going to be another opinionated rant about the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. I’ve had a couple of days to process what took place and have read blogs, FB posts, articles, and comments on said articles. I’ve also listened to interviews, statements, prayers, and speeches about what happened and what “needs” to be done about it. I don’t want this to be just another piece of writing that talks about what a tragedy it is. I believe we can all agree this is a tragedy. I don’t want to talk about gun control, the media, violent video games and movies and try to lay blame on that or any other “thing” that people are trying to. And I don’t want to try to offer up solutions to any of those problems, because in my opinion that would be simply treating the symptoms and not the disease.
So what do I want to talk about? I want to tell you that despite what we are seeing and hearing; despite the darkness and horrific news all around us, not all hope is lost. Despite the negative outlook many have about the future of our country, our world, humanity; I want to tell you there is light that I have seen and get to experience.
One thing I am privileged to see as a youth pastor is a glimpse into the future. I want to tell you what I see is an entire generation of people who are figuring out the promises the world is selling them are all empty. The idea that things they can purchase will bring them happiness, define their worth, or give them the “completeness” they desire is a lie. Or the idea that they will all grow up to be rich, famous, athletes and rock-stars is just not true. There’s a generation of people who have been “churched” to death and sold an incomplete or a skewed version of who Jesus is. This generation I’m talking about has grown tired of the world’s lies and empty promises; tired of this generic Jesus that’s been sold to them and this generation is going after the real deal. The REAL JESUS! REAL HOPE, REAL JOY, REAL PEACE, REAL LOVE, REAL LIFE that comes only from knowing Him.
How do I know this? I see it! A restlessness…a discontentment inside of these students I have the privilege to be with. At Journey Youth we’re getting ready to close out a series called “Storytellers.” The students have been taking parables from the Bible and they have been giving the messages. We have students that lead worship and let me tell you there is nothing that will stir you up more than hearing just the voices of a group of teenagers singing, “You won’t relent until You have it all, my heart is Yours.” There is a generation that is preparing to reach the world with the love of Christ, no matter what the cost. It is an honor to be on the frontlines for this revolution; to see it taking shape in the hearts and minds of these young people.
If this tragedy can tell us anything, don’t let it be that all hope is lost. This should be a reminder that there is a world out there that desperately needs to know the love of Jesus. Now, what are WE going to do about it?