Youth Sunday 2021
I preached my first sermon on Youth Sunday at 1st Presbyterian Church, in Aiken, SC, in 1999. I was nervous and yet excited. The Sanctuary was packed. As I climbed the pulpit steps, my first-grade Sunday school teacher, my confirmation sponsor, my church league basketball coach, and my ninth-grade science teacher were all there. They didn’t have to come. They could have taken the Sunday off, but they showed up for us, and in doing so, they revealed their love and faith.
Following the service, they greeted the entire Youth Group in the church narthex with hugs, high fives, and loving support. Their presence, support, and love mattered to us. I can see it so clearly now, they weren’t merely showing up, but they were continuing to live out the vows they made to us as children at our baptism. Their collective “We Will” took on flesh that Youth Sunday and a thousand different ways beyond that service.
We have the same opportunity this Sunday as our young people lead us in worship. We have the opportunity to show up for our young people, to cheer them on, and to be shaped by their faith! We have the opportunity to live out the vows we made to them at their baptism. It will be a Spirit-filled service, and I know we will be strengthened and challenged by their leadership.
I look forward to being with you in the pews this week as our young people lead us, as we celebrate the sacrament of baptism, and as the PHPC Foundation awards scholarships! I look forward to ensuring our “We Will!” takes on flesh this Sunday.