Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful.
This week, I'm in Montreat, NC with our high school youth. We are in small groups, worship, recreation, and reflection times on this beautiful mountain campus, nestled in what we call a thin place, a place where we seem to experience God in very close and personal ways all week. Some groups are as large as 60 and some as small as 3, so ours of about 20 is medium, and yet mighty.
The theme for the week is "Let Love Lead." Not only are we resoundingly enthusiastic, but we are leading. The youth who lead worship are a small group of 8-10 youth and 2 of them are ours. And last night, communion was served almost entirely by ordained youth who are elders and deacons at their home churches. And of those dozen youth, 2 were our girls, our first and now second ordained youth. And our group all went forward to be served by them. It was a first for me to be led in worship and served sacrament entirely by my youth and to participate only as a worshiper and not a pastor.
I think that for many of us, we mark the transition from our children's childhood to adulthood (or try to ignore it) in various ways. Sometimes it's varying degrees of financial independence, perhaps when they cook the dinner for the family, or when they host us in their first home. But I think it's when we let love lead. When they take on the most important roles in our lives, leading and serving us in worship. These youth have much more to learn, but they are our love embodied, our love living and serving and leading. And when they come home to JCPC and go to our world in need, we are called to let that love lead.