You know, The Mom has videos from the summer, downloaded from the camera already, that she hasn’t even watched yet?! She’ll get to it eventually! Before the next big event hopefully; since the process is to check over all the photos and videos carefully to see if any more snaps are needed from the videos–then they can be deleted from the camera (since it’s the camera that can do that–take snaps from the videos).
So our new sermon series is on 1 John, "Stages of Faith/Life". Those stages are, as mentioned in 2:12 ff where John speaks to: 1) children, 2) fathers, and 3) young people.
- Age doesn’t matter. You can be in your 50s and be in the childhood stage, or a child can be a teacher (like fathers).
- The stages are not linear, but circular. In other words, you don’t necessarily progress through, but can go back and forth between the stages.
As children, we learn that we’re embraced–loved and accepted (forgiven). And being loved means that we’re also disciplined. Sharon used a lovely analogy of God being the Gardener, constantly at work pruning and taking out the weeds, as difficult as that often is.
As young adults, we’re learning to overcome obstacles. A small group, or a few close friends/family members, help us with our blind spots in the major turns of life (another great analogy).
As adults, we are able to empower others because we’re seasoned by time and experience. (This would point rather to linear, however, that experience might only be in certain things, right?) John talks often in this book about "knowing" God, and the implication is that we need to know Him by experience rather than just in our heads.
Somewhere in there Sharon mentioned that young people are strong. That is certainly true! Not only physically, but they often have a strong, vibrant faith that they are excited to share with others. Oh, and another interesting fact that she started out with (apparently stolen from our Youth pastor), is that most of the apostles were probably teenagers. Remember the story of people complaining that Jesus and his disciples hadn’t paid their taxes? Jesus told Peter to look in a fish (or something), and there would be a coin that would cover for both Peter and Jesus. Maybe they were the only ones who had to pay, because the others were all under 20!
Of course, the reason Sharon mentioned these "youth" things, is because it was Youth Service Sunday at our church. The Youth did the announcements (a wonderful comedy act), the scripture reading, etc., and of course the Praise. They did an excellent job! Loved seeing them up there in their shirts and ties. Maybe that’s a new style–if so, we like it! :)