Summer Reflection 1: The Kingdom of God

Summertime—it brings thoughts of picnics, fireworks, beach trips, and time with family. However, if you are in Youth Ministry it might bring thoughts of long drives, too many fast food trips, noisy students, and a frantic pace of life. It is so important to take time and reflect on the meaning of everything that occurs over the summer. Over the next few days I want to share a few things I saw this summer and invite you to share a reflection on your own summer.
I had the opportunity to lead a trip to Belize this summer. This is the second time I have been blessed with spending time in Central America. I was able to renew some old friendships and make several new friendships. One of the ideas I have been reflecting on is the power and universality of the Kingdom of God. So often we want to brand the Kingdom with our particular flavor of Christianity. In Belize, I was reminded of the fact that God’s Kingdom holds not loyalty to country, language, or socioeconomic status; instead, this Kingdom is about the love of Christ and the love of other. I was in Belize during the World Cup Finals; we had made friends with several of the local teenagers and one of these teenagers had invited us to come to watch the game at his house. We decided rather than having thirty Americans pile into his house we invited him to come by our motel. I stopped by one of my student’s room and there were close to twenty people in the room, some yelling at the TV in Spanish, some in English, some explaining what the announcers are yelling and others calmly watching. That moment these students were just watching sports, I felt the Holy Spirit in that room. The Spirit’s presence did not rely on whether there were Americans or Belizeans present, outspoken or quiet individuals, deeply committed or newly blossoming believers. I felt the Holy Spirit in all the relationships we experienced that week, in the work we did, and in friendships that were built. My hope is that through intentional work these relationships will continue to grow and that we will continue to build bridges into the Kingdom.

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