#goodfriday #cleanwater #youthministry
On Good Friday the youth of United in Christ, Lewisburg, PA, designed a service of darkness focused on the seven last words of Christ. The youth worked in pairs on their sermons which they preached in a dialogical style. The sermon below was written by two of our middle school youth from an ecological perspective, focusing on the need for clean water. (To see the other banners and learn more about the service, see this blog post: http://ecopreacher.blogspot.com/2016/03/youth-led-good-friday-seven-last-words.html).
John 19:28: After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, Jesus said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.”
PREACHERS: Rachel Schade and Zoe Scott
Rachel: One of Jesus’ last words was “I thirst.” Jesus once asked for water from the woman at the well. Now he is thirsting for water as he is dying on the cross. Water is vital for life and is a very important part of God’s Creation.
Zoe: There are several places in the Bible where water plays a key part in the story of God’s people. In Genesis, all life arose from water. The book of Exodus has the story of the Hebrew people passing through the waters of the Red Sea, and later getting fresh water from a rock.
Rachel: In Isaiah, he talks about flowing rivers upon deserts in chapter 41. And in the New Testament, Jesus is baptized in the waters of the Jordan River by John the Baptist, and talks about “living water” with the woman at the well.
Zoe: When Jesus is crucified, he is pierced in his side and water comes out. These are just a few of the events in the Bible that have to do with water.
Rachel: Today, water is, in a sense, being crucified. Humanity is destroying water by filling it with chemicals from shale gas drilling, pesticides, herbicides, and animal waste.
Zoe: Oceans are filled with so much plastic, huge islands of trash are floating in our seas.
Rachel: And because of climate change, people are suffering from drought in some places, and flooding in others.
Zoe: Jesus expressed the importance of water on the cross, so why isn’t humanity keeping that importance alive today?
Rachel: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and other groups have noticed these problems and are doing their best to address them. ELCA World Hunger has a program called Walk for Water to raise awareness about water shortages and do projects to help water become more available to people who don’t have easy access to it.
Zoe: They know that Jesus’ cry of “I thirst” is echoed around the world even today. So they fund-raise for water purification tablets, irrigation canals, and well installations.
Rachel: We as a congregation can do so much to support and participate in these programs. We encourage you to do as Jesus did:
Rachel and Zoe: Honor and protect our living water. Amen.
|"I Thirst" was just one of the reflections written by our youth for the Good Friday service. To learn more, check out this blog post: http://ecopreacher.blogspot.com/2016/03/youth-led-good-friday-seven-last-words.html)|