#ExtravagantGenerosity - Caught in the Act
And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
As Associate Pastor for Youth, I spend the majority of my time with youth and their families, and the extravagant generosity I witness here at JCPC falls into two categories: adults who are generous with their time, talents, and treasures to the youth ministry and as an example to them... and the youth themselves, learning from these examples and living into God's call for their lives. It's an example of the latter I'd like to share with you today.
It's exciting to serve people who are generous and hardworking and for us to serve alongside each other. The only thing that comes close to being more exciting is seeing our young people, a generation so many have maligned and given up on, serving and inspiring us. When young people don't just do the jobs we ask them to do, but seek them out, prioritize their faith and serving others with their gifts and time, I am blown away. Those moments of sacrificial love are when the Spirit slips in and ignites my passion for what I do and the faith we proclaim.
Most recently, I was inspired by the extravagant generosity of Emily Johnston. I went for the first time to serve breakfast to the homeless at First Pres. downtown and since it was the beginning of the school year, many of the youth had other obligations. Emily was the only youth able to come and was eager to be there, serving with enthusiasm and representing us well. I should not have been surprised that a month later, she was at it again. This time, she did it on a weekend when she had an extra-large load of homework. Given her limited time, she had to make choices about how to spend her time.
Emily had a busy Sunday. Given the choice to participate in the activities she wanted to that day, Emily chose to get up at 5:00 a.m. and feed the homeless, go to worship, and keep her commitment to practicing hand bells. She had too much homework to make it to the Haunted House trip with the youth group, but with her limited time, she chose to serve others and worship with her family. I know she would have enjoyed going on the fun trip. But I couldn't help be as impressed as her parents and her peers by her priorities and sacrificial attitude and the joy she has in serving.
What has each of us done this week to choose to serve others and praise God in our worship and daily life? How have we set priorities to be generous of all we have and all we are? Let's all be a little more like Emily.
Prayer for Today
Lord, help me to be generous with my time. Help me to choose the things that serve those who need me most. When I become busy, help me put you first by putting my brothers and sisters first. Amen.