Anyway, this morning I'm sending them home with a simple message: that love is greater than fear. If you've known me for any amount of time you already know this has become a sort of mantra for me: LOVE > FEAR. We live in a world hopelessly imprisoned by fear-mongering from all sides - certainly in our politics and government, and even in the church, sad as it is to say. What I want these 11-14 year-olds to know is that they have the power, right now, to reverse all that. Waiting around for us grown-ups to get it right may prove to be a painfully long ordeal. They can start right now to change the world by choosing love over fear in how they relate to the people and the world around them, how they worship and serve, how they vote (when they can). They can change the world by choosing love over fear in the products they buy (or don't buy), the careers they go into and the practices they engage in once they're in those careers. They can change the world by choosing love over fear in helping the church regain a sense of itself as kingdom-of-God builders in this life instead of being so over-focused on the next one.
Which is why I'm concluding my Sunday morning keynote with a song called "Love Can Change The World" by singer/songwriter Aaron Niequist. I heard John Lee sing it at a Montreat youth conference a few years ago and was quickly added to my repertoire. You can hear the tune and read the interesting story behind it HERE if you want. Lyrics are below. Let them take you where they will.
bridges are more beautiful than bombs are
bridges are more beautiful than bombs
listening is louder than a lecture
listening is louder than a shout
but Love – Love can change the world
oh do we still believe that
Love – Love can change the world
oh do we still believe in
Love – Love
God is Love, our God is Love and
Love can change the world
an open hand is stronger than a fist is
an open hand is stronger than a fist
wonder is more valuable than Wall Street
wonder is more valuable than gold
may we never stop this dreaming
of a better world
may we never stop believing
in the impossible
god is love....