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Summary: Youth have both the power and promise to play an integral role in the betterment of our society, community and our church.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

“Youth of Power and Promise”

Text: I Samuel 17: 12 - 26

As we begin to recognize our youth during this youth month, I’m proud to announce that in our midst are youth of power and promise.

In some instances we see the promise, but do not acknowledge their power. We act as if their power battery is not charged or is either on low and they lack any capacity to produce until they have aged or matured.

As a result some think that youth are better seen than heard.

Unfortunately, gang culture recognizes society’s perception that youth are powerless and recruit them into their secret societies. Quickly they are indoctrinated to think that not only do you have power, but you are also to be feared. They are taught that power is to be used negatively, meaning that it does not contribute to the betterment of society; it is used to extracts from the society and becomes a counter-culture. Some call it gang life or thug life.

Negative use of power is manifested in early procreation, useless recreation, or endless procrastination.

Power as early procreation creates the conditions that measures manhood by your conquests or womanhood by your bequests: meaning the children that you have versus the children that you raise.

Power as useless recreation creates the conditions that says that life is a constant party or a futile search for the ultimate state of euphoria. One ingests anything that stimulates the senses until you find your state in a never ending stupor. This week I spent some late nights with Deacon Rodwell and it was sad to witness the people who emerge at night walking throughout this community in an endless daze seeking another fit, drink, or a high – useless recreation.

Power as useless recreation is the endless basketball game where life is played to the point that work never enters your mind. One goes from one playground to another seeking to regain lost opportunity or relive a fleeting fame.

Power as a negative by youth is early procreation, useless recreation, or endless procrastination.

Promise also can be a negative. If promise means that your gestation period is too long, or your maturation period extends forever, or your incubation period keep going and going and going. Promise then can be a negative.

When a youth’s gestation period is too long one loses the benefit of using a youth’s maximum energy level. Instead of utilizing their strength we wait too long and their energy level has waned to the point that when we ask something of them they are less than versus being greater than.

Promise is a negative if your maturation period extends forever. It when you wait to the point that your youth are all gray haired before they are called to serve or become involved in the action. Extended maturation has caused a lot of frustration of youth who are in church. The position of power are withheld from them until they wonder why bother. Why stay in a community that always treats me like I am a child. Promise is a negative if your maturation period extends forever.

Promise is a negative also if your incubation period keep going and going and going: meaning that you are always left on the sidelines and never called upon to serve. Waiting for ever until some mystical point in time when you will be ready.

Promise can be a negative if your gestation period is too long, if you maturation period extends forever, or if your incubation period keep going and going and going.

I here today to proclaim that when you recognize that youth have both power and promise then they can play an integral role in the betterment of our society, community and even our church.

Last night in the Associated Black Charities Gala they honored the contributors to our community’s legal legacy. They rightly paid tribute to W. Ashbie Hawkins, but they fail to mention Everett J. Waring. Everett Waring was the first attorney admitted to the Maryland State Bar who was African American and he joined with his sponsor Rev. Dr. Harvey Johnson and crafted a litigation campaign that championed the cause of African American empowerment that was a beacon of light in a very dark period in our history. We should never forget that these young men where full of power and promise.

But they did honor our good friend Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, and when his story was told he demonstrated early in his career as a student at Morgan State then College, the power and promise that would come to fruition later in his career.

All throughout our community and church are youth who have the power and promise to begin now being useful in the Kingdom of God.

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