Things That Matter

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A shortened version of this reflection was published on Christcitychurch.ca. This one is the longer, non-edited version. 

The Gospel is much greater, mysterious, and inviting reality than we normally conceive it to be. The world we live in simply doesn’t view it as such. For most people in the world, God, Jesus, and the Bible do not matter for everyday living.  As Christians, we must therefore live in a way that is counter cultural. Instead of looking to the world, we believe that we must look to Jesus to see what it means to be truly human. The Gospel is good news about God’s plan to save his creation through Jesus, and by it, we make sense of life, discerning the all-important question of what really matters.

Though not an exhaustive list, here are some of the foundational truths that matter to us at Christ City Youth:

Jesus Matters:

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:26)

The Scripture goes on to tell us that Jesus is the centre of all that God is doing in the world and the Church. Jesus matters, and because he matters, we seek to know and follow him. Until we’re looking intently to Jesus, we haven’t yet understood who God is, what his mission entails, and what his plan for salvation looks like.  The more we get to know Jesus, the more we recognize that none of his steps were aimless, but intentionally taken to bring God’s plan of salvation to the world, the plan to make all wrongs right. 

Culture Matters:

Culture matters because  relationships do. As humans, we do not only relate to God, but to other humans. Living counterculturally doesn’t mean we hate, reject or escape human culture, since that is where human relationships take place. Rather, as we look to Jesus we recognize that his story is a true story which actually happened within human history; it is about a Creator God and his dealings with his creation and the human beings within it. In order to make sense of our participation with God’s mission, we seek awareness of the cultural structures that inform our thinking about God, the world, and ourselves. 

Scripture Matters:

The dominant mood in our culture is characterized by confusion about what it means to be human and what it means to be “normal.”  As a result, many waste their life with things that don’t matter very much. The recurring temptation is exposed early on in Scripture: it is the deceptive promise that we can be like God, and therefore have no need for him (Gen. 3:5). Scripture matters because it gives us a lens by which we view the world, ourselves, and God. Consequently, the Scripture empowers us through the Spirit to become more like God; it breaks down our notions of our selves as independent beings, and draws us in to the mystery and mission of God. 

Church Matters:

The Church community is the place where we get all of this integrated and practiced on an intergenerational level. What this means is that  “youth ministry” does not run parallel to the rest of the church, but it is integrated within it. The Church gathers together to worship as “living sacrifices,” becoming sensitive to God and letting him do with us what he will.  

Life Matters

With that said, Christ City Youth will be fun, not because it will revolve around entertaining games but around the life that comes from Christ. It will function like every other community group, gathering together on a weekly basis to talk, pray, learn, and play. We’ll have fun and we’ll think hard, seeking to allow the Gospel to shape the everyday stuff of our lives together.