Dear Young Adults,
As you know, our world is a pretty dark one. There are mass shootings, racial divides, hate filled speech and we are politically polarized on a level that I have never witnessed before. Like I said, dark. Fear pervades our world and it has changed us as a society. The America that we hand off to you, the generation that will lead us, is not the one that we or our parents have experienced. We are truly sorry for that. This fear and hopelessness that we feel can drive us all to do some pretty desperate things.
We might be tempted to demonize people from other countries or even other faiths, and make them out to be the enemy. This is hurtful and betrays not only the Christian faith, if you would count yourself among that group, but also the American dream. We are a country of immigrants and sojourners. Our diversity is our strength and our ability to coexist as a diverse culture is what makes this country great. We must not and cannot betray others in this way. There are some really amazing people that I would call friends that do not believe the same way that I do. Please let’s not go down this road. It leads to an “us vs them” mentality and it only feeds our prejudice and bigotry.
Others might even be tempted to turn our back on our nation. Some of us have found it acceptable to connect with terrorist organizations who promise camaraderie, meaning and purpose. The only problem is that it is false advertising. The sad truth is that those who have made this decision have found out too late that they are pawns in a sick and twisted game that they cannot get out of. While thinking they were giving their life up for a cause and something worthwhile, they were being used for someone’s murderous and idealogical perversion. While seeking freedom they had become slaves. While wanting change, they had become a part of what is wrong with our world today.
There are others who have taken it upon themselves to do something drastic, out of anger and rage of the meaninglessness of their lives. This too is a losing proposition. School shootings, campus shootings, the Paris attacks and most recently what has happened in San Bernardino are only a few of the tragedies that have befallen us. I can’t begin to understand why any of this happens but I do know that the hopelessness and fear that we all feel is a part of the problem.
To be clear, anyone can purchase a weapon and go out causing destruction, fear and chaos. Anyone. It doesn’t take anyone special to simply pull a trigger, detonate a bomb or wield a machete. It does, however, take someone special to build, heal and transform. It takes someone exceptional to create. Not just anyone is up to that task. It takes time, courage and resolve. So I have a question for you, would you rather be just anyone? Or would you rather be someone unique that stands out?
Look, we all want to give our lives for something but let’s make that something worthwhile. You can be the generation that helps turn things around in our world. I would much rather give myself toward something or Someone who has the ability to change our world and fight the corruption and evil that exists today. Let’s fight it, not with a gun, bomb or hatred. Let’s fight it with love. I know that sounds corny and a little bit “pie in the sky” but stick with me. How do you fight conventional weapons with love? You get to the person holding the gun before they pick it up. People are looking for belonging and acceptance and they will do desperate things to get it. We weren’t created to live alone in this world. When we belong to a group of other people that accept you and love you the way that you are and are committed to a cause, you have just found a cause worth dying for.
That is the Church. We were created for a relationship with God. That relationship will change your life. That relationship is through Jesus Christ who died for a great cause. To glorify God and to save you from separation from Him. What motivated Him to do that? Love. Instead of joining a group bent on destruction, which anybody can do, join God in his desire to transform this world through His love for humanity. That is a cause with dying for.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” MLK