Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Benjer McVeigh)
Over the month of December, we’ll be taking a specific look at Advent through a series of posts with Benjer McVeigh
Remember exactly what the Good News was that the angels announced to the shepherds? “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). A savior has been born to us. A way to be forgiven has been provided. We did nothing to merit such a spectacular gift—it is given freely. Paul puts it this way in his letter to the church in Ephesus: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Through faith in Jesus, everything is changed. Where sin had its way, forgiveness was given. Where death existed, life triumphed. All because Jesus left heaven to live among us, to show us what God’s love looks like, and to die on the cross as a payment for our sin. The sentence we deserved for our rebellion was death—but Jesus took our place, not because of anything we did, but because of his love for us. And that is good news.
And here’s more good news about the Good News: it’s not just something we will experience one day, far off in the distance when we are finally with God for eternity. It’s something that can be experienced right now, through a transformed life. Yes, the realities of sin are something that will always be present here on Earth, even in the life of a Christ-follower. But when God gets a hold of someone, anything is possible. Our churches are filled with people who carry their own unique stories of transformation. As a pastor, there are times when I witness God accomplishing the impossible in people’s lives, and I can only stand in awe of our God who does what I was not even bold enough to pray for. I’ve seen some of the most unlikely people become passionate evangelists. And then there’s my own story: it still amazes me that God take this rebellious ragamuffin and do anything with him, let alone use him to minister to teenagers.
God is in the business of transforming lives. We can see it in our own lives and in the lives of the teenagers we serve. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The reality of God’s kingdom is not just something that we’ll get to see “someday” down the road. It’s something that begins in the here and now, and God invites us to be a part of it by being transformed by his love.
Questions for Reflection:
In what ways have you noticed God transforming you with his grace and love?
In what ways have you seen others transformed?
What is one area this Advent season in which you believe God is working to transform you?
Benjer McVeigh is a youth pastor in Ogden, UT, where he works with students in grades 9-12 and their families at Washington Heights Church. You can read more from Benjer at www.benjermcveigh.com or follow him on twitter
Posted on December 20, 2010