Saturday, July 19, 2008

summer camp.

I got to speak for a youth group last Thursday night. It was their last night of camp. You know how interesting those are. Actually, it was pretty sweet.

One reason I loved it is that it was a really small group. There were only 20 kids. Here's the best part... Four black kids. Four metal-heads. A few good ol boys and girls. A few Christian school kids. And everybody else was in between.

I gave them a quick running commentary on Rom 3.19-26. We talked about the pervasiveness of human guilt in the courtroom of God [3.19-20], the wrath that belongs to each of us ["propitiation" in 3.25], and how God is the Just and the Justifier [3.26] for everyone who is trusting Jesus. Then I explained how all of these collide in the cross of Jesus. Luther said that 3.21-26 is the center of the whole Bible. It sure feels like it sometimes.

After this, I talked about right and wrong ways to live the Christian life. We normally think that we have to have God in the story of our lives to make it better, to make us feel more spiritual, or to be psychologically satiated. We tend to think we need more of Him in our lives as well. Some of those thoughts might be close to right, but the reality is that God has called us into His story. We are now a part of what He is doing to redeem humanity and creation.

Lastly, I told them that the key that unlocks both becoming His and living as His is the same. The cross.

At the cross, Jesus became our substitute, our example, our wrath-bearer, our victory, our healing, and much more.

I genuinely felt the Holy Spirit there. He was working, moving, and making Jesus look good. God is faithful, ya know.

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