Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Happens In The Youth Group I Lead

We watch a television episode, or an extended clip from a film. Then we read a Bible passage and talk about the connections between the two. All of a sudden, the film is not just a film, it is God speaking through art. And the Bible passage is illuminated, it is clearer and more accessible, and thereby it becomes that much more the word of God. Then people start talking. One person says one thing, and another person says something else. There is monologue, and dialogue, sometimes agreement, sometimes disagreement. But the words that are said are so often sublime, beyond anything I could think of or formulate by myself. It is God speaking in and through conversation. We all stand before the Great Mystery hidden behind art and religion. We speak to that Mystery and that Mystery speaks through us. We reach our hands into another world, and in a very real sense create art all our own. Christ becomes present in a way that is palpable and physical. We are the Body of Christ. Yet living out the man Jesus, and making the Holy Spirit present within us, I (at least) become aware that those realities, present and real as they are, are so much bigger than what can be contained in our particular group or conversation. Christ in conversation, pointing to a reality beyond anything we can imagine. That is what Youth Ministry is for me.

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