Building the Household of God with Children, Youth and Young Adults
Take a minute to look back on your life. Who all have you lived with? In the earliest parts of our lives, we might live with parents or grandparents or other caring adults. Perhaps siblings. Over the years, we might live with friends and extended family, family of choice or even sometimes with strangers. And sometimes we might find ourselves living alone.
No matter whom we live with now, or whom we have lived with before, God’s vision for the world is that everyone find a place within God’s kingdom — God’s house. What we celebrate at Pentecost is God’s pouring out of the Holy Spirit so that people of every identity and language can hear a word of welcome into God’s household. All belong in God’s household, and we get to live together, and learn together and celebrate together.
At Pentecost, we look especially to the children, youth and young adults with whom God has called us to live. The psalmist reminds us of the importance of faith being established during our earliest years, saying, “God from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.” God’s youngest family members need support to build their full potential in both faith and life, and all of us have a role to play. These young ones also show and sometimes teach all of us more about faith in Jesus Christ and how the Holy Spirit is moving in our world.
The Pentecost Offering lets us support the development of children, youth and young adults in our community and throughout the country. Forty percent of this offering stays within our community because we want to build the household of God together, in this place. The remainder is sent on to our denomination so that young adults can lay a foundation for their lives through a year of service as part of the Young Adult Volunteer program. It is also used to support ministries with youth, through experiences of worship and formation like the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, which gathers nearly 5,000 young people every three years to learn and grow together. There is also a portion of this Offering that supports the education of every child in this country, through the Educate a Child, Transform the World national initiative. Even when there are no children or young people in the places where we live, there are many, many with us in the household of God.
During this Pentecost season, I want us to celebrate the fact that we are building a life of faith and building the household of God with our children, youth and young adults. Through our gifts today, we join with them and with God in building that household together.
If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Let us pray:
Holy Spirit, breathe on us. Inspire us to give and to grow your household. Thank you for the special place you offer to the youngest members of your family. May our efforts reflect the joy and delight that Jesus showed in welcoming children. Amen.
The Young Adult Volunteer Program; Educate a Child, Transform the World; and Presbyterian Youth Triennium are all supported by your gifts to the Pentecost Offering.
This was originally published for Presbyterian News Service on April 14, 2020.
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When we all do a little,
it adds up to a lot.
By giving to the Pentecost Offering, your congregation participates in helping our children, youth, and young adults grow up to proclaim with the Psalmist, "O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds."