Sermon Summary for Sunday, May 1, 2016 | Youth Sunday
Submitted by Brenda Worley
It was our privilege to have youth filling all of the positions during worship on this Youth Sunday. Many were responsible for this lovely day and the Sundae Social afterwards and we thank them.
Our preacher was Adam Harper who graduates this year and is planning to attend Harvard University in the fall. All I can say is wow!! What an impressive young man. In his opening, he acknowledged that we as fellow parishioners and his involvement in several youth programs sponsored by the Diocese were factors in his strong faith.
Adam recounted a conversation with Dan Baker, Acolyte Master. Mr. Baker had discussed with Adam the discomfort that he felt at the words Mother Mary often uses as she begins her sermon, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable unto you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Dan said these words made him want to hide from God to prevent his looking into his heart.
Adam remarked that to have a vulnerable heart was what he had learned from his mentors and service opportunities. He shared that he opened the essay on his college applications with the sentence, “The basis of who I am is my faith, but I seem to struggle with it.” Though we all struggle, love must be the cornerstone of our faith and its source is God.
Adam shared that this past Lenten season was very difficult for him and some of the people he loves. His life was touched by three suicides of people he thought had strong faiths. During the prayer vigil following the Maundy Thursday service, he realized that it was this faith community that had helped him get through this difficult time. He learned that faith is serving God in the terror and looking to his light and love to sustain you.
He acknowledged that his generation is very involved in the global struggle marked by refugees and mass shootings. Their faith is tested daily by the “information” glut. He thinks that Christianity is unique in comparison to other faiths in the world. The good graces of our God are available up front with no down payment. These good graces are evident in the beauty of the world, the kind words of a stranger and the love of parents. We were in those good graces before our creation. God’s love never fails, gives up or runs out. Jesus came to walk among us as man and show us how to love. He left his peace with us. His peace never fails.
In closing, Adam shared another story about an exchange between he and Dan Baker. He shared with Dan some of his fears about the changes in his life that lay ahead with graduating and going off to college. His concern was about all the worldly influences from other students that may challenge his faith. Mr. Baker cautioned him to stay strong and to remember that “you may be the only Bible those people ever read.”
What will others “read” when they see your faith? Remember that you were loved, are loved, and will be loved forevermore. What a wonderful thought. Go in peace and share it with the world.