A teenager called us to worship yesterday. Pentecost Sunday was also youth Sunday at the church we’ve been attending. The youth decorated the sanctuary, designed the bulletin cover, picked the music, participated in the liturgy, collaborated with the pastor for the sermon, served communion, and at the closing of the service all the middle school, high schoolers, and their Sunday school teachers joined voices with the pastor to give us our benediction.
As I’m writing this, I can already see the faces of my Reformed friends flinching at the holy ordinances of worship being handled by “unqualified” teen boys and girls. The irony isn’t lost on how many spiritually immature seminary-trained men, with an obsession with power and hierarchy, and a license to treat people as less than people are supposedly “qualified” in these churches. And yet having a woman read Scripture or serve communion, much less a child, would be like any rando Israelite stepping into the Holy of Holies. Or steading the arc bare-handed. The “I told you Aimee is on a slippery slope” crowd can feel very vindicated.
It’s the slope of Pentecost.
And it is beautiful. Imagine it. The children weren’t bored, they were participating in the creative and spiritual life in the church. Serving in roles that identify with the knowledge of God’s word. Vital to the important task of passing on the heritage of the tradition to future generations. Contributing literary expression and spiritual creativity. Part of the heart of the existence of the church.Continue reading