On Monday morning, following Young Life camp, Ben Cook shared a summary of the weekend’s club talks with the entire HOPAC secondary school. He re-told how Micki used a lamp as an illustration, starting with the creation of the lamp and its design to be plugged in to a power source to be able to fulfill its purpose of giving light to the room. In our lives, Jesus is like that power source. But with sin, we are separated from Jesus, and Micki showed this by cutting the lamp’s cord. And when we are without Christ, we often try to fill our lives with other things. At this point, she took out candles with words written on them, illustrating the things we try to fill our lives with instead of Christ: sports, being good, boyfriend/girlfriends, etc. The problem is, that eventually all of those things fail. We get injured, a rumor (true or not) is spread about us, our relationships end–and our candle is blown out. But, Christ came to restore our relationship with God, and so Micki carefully repaired the lamp’s power cord during the third club talk. Then, during the final club talk, she shared how, even though the cord is repaired, it is still each individual person’s choice of whether or not they will plug their life into the source. After Ben finished his summary, he repeated the invitation from camp, that if students wanted to acknowledge publicly their desire to either plug or re-plug their lives into the Source, they should stand. What happened next has only one word to describe it: revival. Over 75% of the entire HOPAC secondary school stood. As they did so, teachers circled the student assembly and prayed over them. As at camp, it was a powerful and moving thing to be a part of, and the evidence of God’s hand moving in the hearts and lives of students was incredible to see.
In two weeks, the chaplaincy team and Young Life leaders are partnering together to do an overnight follow-up, which I’ve just created the flier for. Be praying that God continues working: students are still talking amongst themselves about Christ and they are still asking questions. Pray too that leaders and teachers would have wisdom and opportunity to follow up and help these students grow in their new-found or rediscovered faith. Just this evening, I got into a discussion about the living and active Word of God that has the power to pierce to the deepest parts of our being and that never fails to bring return. As someone in youth ministry, that is such an encouraging thought, as I know that every time a student encounters Scripture that it will change them in some way.
With the energy from camp and Monday’s revival driving me, I found myself almost preaching a few times during tonight’s Connect Group that I co-lead. Tonight was our first meeting since November, and we are just starting to study the book of John. Just in the first chapter, I saw echoes of Micki’s lamp illustration over and over. In vs. 1-8, the poem that refers to Jesus as the Word that was working in and through and for creation only reinforces the idea that because Jesus was in our very creation, He is the only thing that gives our lives purpose and without Him we can never be truly fulfilled. Then, in verse 12, John’s thesis statement gives hope as salvation is offered to anyone who believes, without exclusion. At the end of the chapter, in verses 43-51, three phrases jumped out: “Come and see,” showing how Philip had confidence that Jesus would live up to the claims about Him; “I saw you,” revealing how that before we ever start looking for Him, Jesus sees us, He is looking for us, and He wants a relationship with us; and “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?,” showing how Jesus came to offer hope and light right in the very place where there was only darkness and hopelessness–that He meets us where we are and is not shocked by it, but offers us hope and love and grace there. It actually reminded me of a statement in the Gideon study I’m doing with several other ladies: “God’s graciousness allows us to be ourselves and feel accepted” (Gideon, by Patricia Shirer).
Guys, God is at work!