Challenged to be an “everyday radical”
by McKayla Kleinsasser, a senior at Bethel MB Church, Yale, SD
Congregations were invited to select one student to serve as a CL student reporter for SA2011. Thanks to the 11 youth leaders who recruited student writers and to these students for their honest and inspiring reflections.
The workshop that I attended at the national youth conference was called “Everyday Radical.” The main challenge from the speaker was learning to see Jesus in the most ordinary place imaginable … your everyday life. He gave us three false assumptions about the gospel: 1) God is somewhere else 2) Salvation is for tomorrow and 3) I’m just waiting around for heaven. The truth is that God is right here and salvation is for today!
The speaker gave three foundational ideas for an everyday radical life. The first was incarnation. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Incarnation answers the “What is God up to” question. God is not a commuter God. He knows our names, our stories and our struggles. Incarnation transforms you, them and theirs, to we, us and ours.
The second idea was location. Mark 1:15 says, “’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’” This verse brings up an interesting question. Does ‘near’ mean time or distance? The answer is distance. Location reflects on the question, “Where is God?” and draws us to the nearness of his mission. Where you are matters. You are where you are for a purpose; God has designed it that way. We are to be doing kingdom work right where we are and building authentic friendships all around us. One way to live the gospel is to desire for your neighbor and your neighbors family that which you desire for yourself and your family.
The third idea is invitation. Mark 1:17 says, “’Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Invitation reflects on the how question of the everyday radical. God’s invitation is to leave the boring, mundane life the world has to offer, and join the exciting, dangerous, and adventurous life and mission of Jesus.
We were challenged to get up to speed and get moving in the same direction that God is moving. I am excited to put into practice the ideas that were presented to us to bring transformation in the schools we attend, to the places we live and into the occupation we someday choose. I am praying that what we learned in San Antonio will be put into practice all around the world.
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