Okay, let me give you the straight stuff: I want your presence, passion, creativity, love in the community of the church. I know, less and less of you are choosing to be a part of the Christian community. Many of you never have been; it’s an odd universe, the Christian one is. It’s not even your parents’ universe because they may have checked out long ago. But today, this Easter, I’m really not thinking about them. I’m thinking about you and your generation. As far as I can tell you are the solution to almost anything out in front of us now. I’m not dropping the weight on your shoulders. But I am appealing to you.
If I were you, honestly, I would have my doubts about the church. It’s not just that it’s organized – heck, educational systems are organized as are softball teams. No, it’s the way church takes place and what it seems preoccupied with that repels you. Frankly, if I were where you are now, I really wonder if I would opt in. And I’m a lifer.
So here is my pitch and I’m staying with it:
You don’t really have an aversion to ancient forms of wisdom or even tradition. In fact, many of you respond to the deep long-lasting truths and practices of religious communities. You love to take the ancient and let it collide with the modern in new ways. What you’re tired of are worn out preoccupations along dogmatic lines. You love the insights of Jesus but are just exhausted to tears with the seeming obsession with pelvic ethics. A person’s sex life is as important as any other part of life, but it seems that is the only preoccupation of Christians. You’re done with that. And really, so are many of us.
You want to know how spiritual life addresses issues of peacemaking, solutions for hungry people, reconciliation between the divided, and a justice that isn’t a program as much as a way of life. You want to believe that the ancient creation stories really do speak to environmentalism. You want all kinds of Christians to come together and focus on what matters. You don’t want to be part of the exclusivism that rejects other faith groups but instead finds common ground and the sharing of wisdom through love. You don’t want to be something that creates hate and insiders and outsiders. Surprise, neither did Jesus.
And face it, you’re done with big heavy legislative church. You want real community, You want to figure out how to love. You want God to be a force – and certainly not a superhero in the sky. By the way, we’re done with that image of the sacred. You want an experience on the inside that is shared with others and feels universal, like it’s been around forever and will be. You don’t want the central message to be that you are a piece of crap that needs to be cleaned up. You want to hear that the same same force of love that animates the universe spins around in you in remarkable ways. You don’t believe in a God who needs to be appeased with blood sacrifice to make things right; you want a God who so loves that remarkable sacrifices are made,
So here is the deal: I want you to try out a Christian community. And if one doesn’t work try another one because some of them look new on the outside but are just the same worn out stuff on the inside. Come on in, claim the deep reserves that fill you with awe, become an answer to the despair of the world, gather together friends who thrive on depth and make a go of it. And here is my promise to you: If you’ll trust in the Spirit to do the work, wrestle with the ancient texts to find the way, gather to be together rather than alone, and find a mission you can’t not do, I will help you do that – not on my terms or anyone else’s terms, but on your own and in your own way. I want to pass the baton to you and let you run with it like you want to, like you know you can make a difference. I will so cheer you on. I will love you and weep for you and laugh with you.
We need you, the Spirit is waiting, and your time is now. And after you gather your tribe you’ll become the leaders – just another sign that Christ is always risen and always rising.
I mean every word of this. I don’t know how to say it better or differently.
Much love Millennials. This is your time.