In-N-Out

The Ad in HK

Today my youth group took a trip to an In-N-Out promotional event. From what I gather, In-N-Out only has store locations in 5 of the 50 states of the US. Upon hearing that it would bring its burgers to Hong Kong, our youth group dripped with anticipation. After church today, we took a special field trip up to the rented restaurant in a fleet of rented vehicles (also known as taxis). Upon arrival, they were all sold out. Well, at least we were told that, and the time was only 2.5 hours into the 4 hour event. What a disappointing field trip. That’s like telling kids that Disney World is closed after traveling to Florida.

Burger Fail

Anyway, that’s not what I really wanted to reflect on. Rather, I wanted to reflect on and write about the sermon topic this Sunday at church.

For the month of January, the youth group is discussing the much anticipated topic of sex. Yep. Coitus and everything else related to it. Today was particularly focused on homosexuality and our identity in Christ. As you might imagine, this was not the most comfortable talk to prepare for, but it has been one of the most engaging and enlightening topics to date since I began the job.

To clarify, this is not a post to get into the details of my beliefs on homosexuality or anything related to the LGBTQIA movement. Rather, I feel more sure of my beliefs, and I believe that I can have better, Christ-centered conversations with other people, no matter their view on this culturally-relevant subject.

As I’ve drawn closer to Jesus, He’s drawn nearer to me. As I’ve sought Him out, He’s shown me part of His grand perspective. It’s not about our identity in our sexuality, but rather our identity in Him. It’s not about filling myself with information and having all the right answers, but it’s about filling myself with God and relying on Him to show us the most excellent way to live. It’s about love and our value found in Christ.

Today was a good day.

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby

It was an awkward day with the youth group. I delivered part one of a three part sex series. Unfortunately, today wasn’t even the most uncomforatable topic. On the other hand, the kids responded pretty well considering all of them were under 14 years old.

'Preach It, Brother' photo (c) 2008, Steve Snodgrass - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I had the privilege of basing my sermon off of a message delivered by Tim Keller. He’s such a wise and rational pastor, full of dry, but quick wit. I’m a big fan. If you haven’t heard anything by him, I highly recommend subscribing to his podcast from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York.

'SEX' photo (c) 2008, Stuart Caie - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Today I didn’t talk about the human body, puberty, or the mechanics of sex. Rather, I talked to the kids about being in close, intimate relationship with Jesus. In my preparation, I’m having my eyes opened to understanding the way God desires for us to meet with Him all day, every day. By knowing Him more, I’m able to become a man after God’s heart, and following Him becomes less of a set of rules and rituals and more about living in response to God’s love. It’s great, and I wish I could remember how to live like this more often.

Coming up next week we’re talking about our sexual and gender identity. Oh dear. Lord help me and all the kids!