For the last five days I have watched from afar as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America sent 30,000 youth and adults to Detroit Michigan for the ELCA National Youth Gathering. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been streaming all the amazing and life changing experiences in Detroit, not only for the city but for those attending the gathering.
However, after the planes, trains, cars and buses return home, and everyone gets back to their daily routine. After the excitement wears off from the Ford Field worship services and the t-shirts are washed and put away. Will this experience continue to have an effect on the participants? Or will their 2015 National Youth Gathering experience be another fun memory those summer days in youth group?
There are things that we can do as parents, churches and pastors to keep the excitement of Detroit alive in the hearts of the youth and the halls of our church.
Continue Reading »
People were attracted to Jesus. It did not matter where he went, what he did, once word got out about him – he was swarmed with people. One of the things that separates Jesus from the other prophets and healers is the compassion he had for the people around him.
Now this is not just any kind of compassion. The Greek word for compassion in the Bible means “Guts” and feeling. So it is that feeling in your gut when you see something that moves you. It moves you to the point of acting upon that feeling. Compelling you to be involved if you want too or not.
Jesus had compassion on the people who are following him because they were like sheep without a shepherd. They were in need of care, of protection, of pasture, of tending, of nurture.
Jesus’ compassion is not just a feeling its a movement. So Jesus acted upon his compassion and he reached out to those in need and he taught those who were following him how to be his disciples so they can show, to act upon compassion as well.
Continue Reading »