Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Life

I’m sitting alone in a room filled with bunk beds awaiting the next session when I’m supposed to speak to 250 Christian high school students.  I was asked a couple months ago to speak at this retreat, and I was giddy with excitement – because honestly, this is what I love to do. 

I love to tell goofy stories with a bit of exaggeration and dramatization.

I love to see the light in their eyes when a point I reference in Scripture actually connects to their heart.

I love knowing that my gifts are being used and I love feeling fully alive as I speak.

I love the struggle of putting together a message that is truly Biblical and yet can be communicated in such a way that reaches whatever demographic sit before me.

I love this.

And two months ago when they asked me to speak on the topic of New Life, I honestly thought it was a standard Christian camp theme…maybe even rolled my eyes a bit as I wondered what’s so special about New Life?  I’ve grown far too accustomed to the way we glamorize sermon series or camp themes and I was expecting something…well, something more flashy.

And here I am NOW.  Preparing for the big night session when tears will flow and kids will make a stand…and yet, New Life doesn’t seem so elementary anymore.  You see, I just drove out of the canyon to find a cell signal so I could call my mom to see if my Pepa was still alive.  It was such a weird phone call to make.  His life is coming to a close.  The doctors suggest it could be today or the next, and we are all just waiting.  The waiting is painful – my sister’s words describe it well.

So I sit in a room lined with bunk beds – going over my sermon in my head – but going over moments with my Pepa in my mind.  I’m unsure how to respond to the phone call I just made – he’s still alive but the end is very near…and truth be told…it’s time for Him to be with Jesus…it’s time for his FULL NEW LIFE to start. 

New Life.

It has a completely different sound today.

Don’t you just love God’s ways?  That my know-it-all attitude about a simple theme was put into line because now the theme is absolutely perfect – not only for these kids – but for me as well.  It’s like a precious promise from God as I’m separated from my family at this time when I feel I should be there – it’s a promise from God that what’s on the other side for my Pepa is Jesus!  And life with Jesus is good and freeing and beautiful and new.

And  as I preach tonight – I’m aware that I’m not just doing something I love.  But I’m doing something with eternal purpose – I’m pointing to Jesus who gives New Life.  And my Pepa…he’s definitely doing better than I – because while I’m pointing to Jesus, he’s getting ready to meet Jesus. 


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