Sermon Summary for Sunday, May 6th, 2018 | Respectfully Submitted by Kelley Dial
On Youth Sunday, Sam Braid delivered an exquisitely eloquent sermon that touched our hearts and fed our souls. His thoughts were particularly relevant as we considered Jesus' words from the Gospel of John: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you".
Sam shared his journey of and into faith with us. He talked movingly his family becoming a part of Ascension when Sam was eleven years old. He shared his feeling of fear and insecurity as he became a part of Ascension's EYC group with a little gentle "coercion" from his parents. He described his desire to hang out with the older kids and how, through their offers of friendship and acceptance, he became increasingly comfortable in that setting. This level of comfort and feeling of acceptance allowed him to, again with a little parental "coercion", become involved in youth activities at the Diocesan level. These activities allowed him to draw his circle wider and interact with "a larger community of like-minded people".
Sam referred to the parishioners of Ascension and the youth of the Diocese of Atlanta as his second family. He reminded us that we each practice evangelism every day, even if it is often unintentional, as we love, accept, and encourage each other. As Jesus said - loving one another as He loved us is enough. It collects all the previous commandments and distills them into one coherent thought and one distinct instruction.
Sam helped remind us of our ability to be receptacles of God's love as we are, simultaneously, conduits to spread that love to those around us. Sam summed it up well when he said "Ascension has given me a space to feel safe and loved and wanted; a place where a difference of opinion won't be frowned upon but instead communicated and respected", and when he described Ascension as a "safe and welcoming environment to not only deepen my faith but also to question and doubt". May we continue to be such a place extend our grasp ever wider in this community.
Thanks be to God for Sam, for all our youth, and for the love that both holds us together and gives us the courage to spread our wings and broaden our horizons.