This is a synopsis of the information that Pastor Mike shared with the youth recently at an event a few weeks ago. We're including it here in the hopes that it will help you process your and your youth's feelings during this time.
We’re including this note so that we may all be on the same page in terms of caring for the young people of Christ Church. Our service of baptism includes all parishioners promising, in essence, to be responsible for the raising of our young people. This means, there is no “yours" and “mine” when it comes to our young people; they are ours and are God’s. That being the case, I’m going to share a few things with our youth tonight and wanted you to know the points I intend to cover:
The story of Lazarus, a friend of Jesus dying and Jesus weeping in grief over the death of his friend. I will share with the youth that God loves us so that when we hurt and weep, so does God. I’ll share that God through Christ totally understands our hurt over loss.
From the same story, I’ll share how Jesus listened to Martha’s frustration and questioning of Jesus. My point is that through Christ, God understands and can accept our feelings in this regard; even our frustrations, questions and anger.
I want to share with our youth that while some traditions would claim that God’s will plans and executes things, even as awful as cancer, our United Methodist tradition holds that we live in a flawed creation and that God doesn’t will or cause terrible events.
I’ll share with the young people that while we can’t understand completely the “why” of bad times such as this, we always know the “Who…Jesus”’ who is with us and loves us. I’ll add that one of the most important practices we can have is to pull together in Jesus’ love and support as the Church, the Body of Christ.
Finally, I’ll do my best to invite your youth to be in touch with Pastor Louis or me if they need someone to talk with or just to listen and pray.
One of the facts of this situation is that Susan Norman Vickers has continually and always placed her life in the hands of Jesus. My suggestion is that we do the same. In doing so, we will make it, not because of any innate skills or power we have, but because of who Jesus is and because of the love and power He has which will sustain us and Susan, too, for eternity!