May 29, 2020

Community Is . . . Doing Difficult Things

Mark 6:7-13

He began to send them out two by two. . . .

—  Mark 6:7

Our high school youth group doesn’t spend a lot of time sitting in a classroom. We do plenty of learning, and we do that by being active in our community. We prepare our students for what they will experience as best we can, and we debrief after we are done, but most of the learning is in doing things together. And many of those things can be difficult. Our goal is to learn how to love people the way Jesus called us to, so we take every opportunity we can to practice love.

This means interacting with immigrants, refugees, homeless people, and other marginalized folks in our community. It means sharing God’s love with people in our church community in out-of-the-box ways. For many of our students and leaders, these are new things. And all of us are apprehensive at best when we begin. But for us, it is the best way to teach our students about God’s love in extraordinary ways.

When Jesus sent out his disciples, I think he had some of the same thoughts in mind. He sent them out together to do difficult things. He sent them out to preach and to heal. I’m sure they were apprehensive at first. But when they came back, they had amazing stories to tell of God’s power displayed in their world.

Community does that together. It goes and does difficult things together—all the time witnessing the amazing work of God in the world around us.

Father, send us into the world together, in your name, to love people and to witness your power at work through changing lives. Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is Director of Faith Formation at First Church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, emerging adult, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, disc golfing, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

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