Sunday, October 29, 2006

Young Saints

This morning was a "Youth Sunday" in the life of our congregation. The youth prepared a service with an All Saints' Day theme and did a terrific job of leading us in worship. Three of our young saints preached short sermons, which were all just excellent. I don't think that my first sermon at age 26 measured up to these by 16 and 17 year olds! I have obtained permission from one of the young preachers to share his sermon here on my blog. He preached with such passion and sincerity, which really touched everyone who heard him. It was especially poignant when he spoke about his dad. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. I was moved to hear this young man speak about faithfulness to God's call as being the mark of a saint. I also appreciated his use of a Bob Dylan song!

You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody

You may be an ambassador to England or France.
You may like to gamble, you may like to dance.
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world.
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord,
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You’re gonna have to serve somebody. I can’t be positive what the philosopher, Bob Dylan, meant exactly by that, but here’s what I think he meant. We are all called to serve. And that, to me, is what a saint is. I believe that a saint is a person who God has called on to serve him. A saint is someone who, through their own ways, has served to the best of his ability, and in doing so, inspired others to serve. Each and every one of us is a saint, and we interact with saints everyday.

You may be a construction worker working in a home.
You may live in a mansion or you might live in a dome.
You might own guns and might even own tanks.
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks.
But you are gonna have to serve somebody.
Yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord,
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Now if I had to pick one saint out of all the wonderful people I get to see on a daily basis to talk about today, it would have to be my friend, J. J. has known me my entire life, being m next door neighbor for many years. I have never met any other man like J. He has been a positive influence to me for 17 years now and was my mentor for confirmation. I hope that me being around J. has influenced me and made me who I am today. And I think it has.

Might wear cotton, might like to wear silk.
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk.
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread.
You might be sleeping on the floor, sleeping on a king-sized bed.
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord,
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Now what makes a saint a saint? To me a saint served God through their actions in their everyday life. Reggie Bush is a saint. After being drafted by the New Orleans Saints, Reggie has helped lift a football team back to its feet. More importantly, he has given the city a newfound sense of hope. But he’s not the only one helping New Orleans. A group of our fellow church members went to New Orleans to help rebuild the city. My father was one of them. My dad is the saint I wish I could be. Now here’s the funny thing about saints. We are all different and so no two people will serve God in the same way. I will never be able to serve like Reggie Bush serves. And as much as I wish I could, I won’t be able to serve in the same way that my father does. Although I can’t serve in the same way he does, I can still serve and be faithful to the call of God. For that’s what all saints do, be faithful to the call of God. Now, I will finally stop talking and leave you with a bit more from Bob Dylan.

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy.
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy.
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray.
You may call me anything, but no matter what you say,
You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord,
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

1 comment:

Mrs. M said...

Beautiful. Confirming my theory that wisdom comes in all ages and packages. What an insightful young man.