Summary: This was our Senior High Youth Worship Sunday. The worship and the sermon focussed on how much Christ applies to us all, despite all the things that are different between us... Christ is still our Lord.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Christ the King
When we were preparing for this worship service, the youth and I talked about today’s sermon. They asked me how long my sermons usually were… and I replied that I usually try to keep my sermons between 12 to 15 minutes. They replied, “NO WAY!” At this point I was feeling pretty good about myself, because my sermons had managed to speak to their generation so well… and my sermons were so good that they didn’t feel nearly as long as 15 minutes. But then my heightened ego came crashing down as one of them replied, “They seem like a half hour!” So today’s sermon will be rather brief… a compromise between them and myself.
Today is Christ the King Sunday… a very appropriate Sunday for having these young adults lead worship… because despite the differences in likes and dislikes, despite the differences in what we prefer to see in worship, despite the age gap and generational differences… there is one thing that can bring us all together into this common house of worship… and that is Jesus Christ. He is Christ the King! And whether you are 1 or 101… you can come together here as disciples.
It took me a long time to realize that for myself. When I was a young boy… church was something I HAD to go to go. It was a stuffy old building I didn’t like, music I didn’t like, pew seating that I didn’t like, with a service that felt like it was three hours long. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t know why I was there. I usually woke up Sunday morning… hoping that today would be a day when both mom and dad would be too tired… and we would take a skip day! This might be sounding familiar to some of you.
Then… when I was about 15… my pastor and my parents came to me with this bright idea to send me on a youth mission trip. “No… uh-uh… nope… never…absolutely not.”
I spent that entire week waking up at 6 in the morning for devotionals… on the road at 7:30 to go to our work sites, and then home at 5 after a very long day of hard work. We would have dinner, some nightly activity, and then we would always finish the night with worship. And I was loving it. I was loving the feeling of humbling myself and becoming a servant. I was loving being with Christians my own age who weren’t afraid to talk about Jesus… weren’t afraid to talk about faith… and truly loved to worship God.
The last day was Sunday… and we worshiped at all three of the Churches worship services. They had a service for the homeless downstairs at 8, a praise worship at 9, and a traditional worship service at 10. I started out at the service for the homeless at 8… and there, sitting side by side with the homeless… I had perspective shift. Have you ever had one of those moments… where you can actually feel the world shift on its axis just a few degrees. And for a moment… I was in there shoes… out on the street… penniless… struggling… listening to service with new ears… hearing hope in Jesus Christ, and then came another shift… here I was… in shirt and tie… coming from a privileged family… and I saw through it all… I realized then that I was no better than that man sitting to my right. I was a hopeless sinner… needing hope just as much as that homeless man needed it.