Today’s Author: Julene Hawkins
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gathers 30,000 high school youth and adult leaders together every three years for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. The busy days are spent in worship, Bible study, service, fellowship, and interactive learning which challenges and inspires young people to live faith in their daily lives. This July, youth from Prince of Peace will be attending the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering in Minneapolis. The theme for the gathering is Boundless: God Beyond Measure based on Ephesians 3:14-21:
14I kneel in prayer to the Father. 15All beings in heaven and on earth receive their life from [God]. 16God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that [God’s] Spirit will make you become strong followers 17and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in [God’s] love. 18I pray that you and all of God’s people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. 19I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. 20-21 Ephesians 3:14-21 CEV
We are bound. Bound by our sin, by the expectations of others, by poverty, by -isms that try to divide us, and by so much more. In a life that often feels as if it has young people in a suffocating grip, we want them to imagine the boundlessness of God: boundless love, boundless creation, boundless forgiveness, boundless invitation, boundless promise. All are offered from a gracious and loving God who knows and adores them. All so abundant and endless it cannot be measured.
What are the stories of God’s people, both in Scripture and modern-day, that share the awe and wonder of just how vast our God is? What does it mean, what does it look and feel like to live a life “filled with all that God is”? How can young people find themselves within the boundlessness of Christ’s love?
God of love, remind us that we are precious, we are adored, we are loved more than we could ever dare imagine. We are worthy of love. Even though there are days when we do not feel like we love ourselves, we know you never stop loving us. Nothing can separate us from your love. I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. God’s power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.
“ELCA Youth Gathering Theme.” ELCA Youth Gathering, https://elca.org/YouthGathering/About/Theme.
“Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community. If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday contact Pastor Peter.“