CAST Voices Devotion: Youth Identity

CAST Voices Devotion: Youth Identity

13 June 2017

By George Mwaura

1 Peter 2:9 For you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

CAST Sports and Youth Development (77 of 77)

I love working with young people because I truly believe each of them has a future in Christ despite their current situation.  If we bear this in mind, it changes the way we look at young people.

For me personally, growing up in the Mathare Slum of Nairobi, Kenya as a young person was not easy, especially when it came to the people who influenced me.  When I was 12-16 years old, I identified with anything that seemed meaningful.  Part of me knew I could find meaning in Christ, but I did not have someone to help me explore that option.  Most of the time I leaned towards what my friends identified with, such as hip-hop culture or Rastafarianism.  Despite all my efforts to immerse myself in these popular trends, nothing was meaningful.  I knew deep down in my heart that whatever I clung to would lead to meaninglessness as my predecessors had not led meaningful lives.

From my experience, finding your identity is a critical stage because whatever you settle for defines who you become in the future.  Yes, some might meet Jesus later in life, but then you have to face so much embedded in your old identity.  In order to take on your new identity, you would need someone to journey with to solidify your identity.

Finding our identity today continues to be challenge.  It is one thing to claim Christianity, but it’s another to fully embrace that identity.  It’s like having an ID, but never using it.  I believe if most people understood the value of their IDs (and the rights thereof) they would take better care of it, and use those rights.

We have so many youth around us.  They are full of potential, but unless they can figure out their identity, they might not ever become who they are meant to be.  Lack of stable family structures in our society doesn’t help, but this can’t be an excuse.  As Christians, we are called to point people to their Creator.  This calls for intentional living.

  1. How do you identify with Christ?
  2. Are you aware of young people struggling with identity?
  3. Do you have someone you are intentionally working with to help them find their identity in Christ?

Understanding the Needs in Our Community

CAST Voices Devotion: Understanding the Needs in Our Community

The woman who touched Jesus’ cloak: Luke 8:41-43

By Yasmin Adams

Reflection:

Jesus was on his way to Jairus’ daughter but made space for this woman in her desperate need. Jesus was surrounded by need and opportunities that day, and chose to heal this woman.

Jesus could see the woman’s deepest needs were peace and wholeness. The woman took initiative, in desperation and in faith, and Jesus responded.

Jairus was an important person in his community, and the woman was considered unclean and was therefore isolated. As a result of this they both had different ways of approaching Jesus. Jairus was not afraid to ask, the woman was. This shows us that to really understand the deepest needs of our community we may need to dig deep. The most marginalised people will not necessarily come forward for help.

It shows us that in a world of huge problems, Jesus cares deeply for the individual. The woman just had to reach out – he responded, he valued her, he healed her and met her deepest needs. He does the same for us today.

When we look at all the need around us, it can be overwhelming, and we might feel a sense of guilt at what we are not doing. Jesus healed the woman, but he did not heal everyone. Whatever we choose to do for others is important, it is Christ-like.

Questions:

  1. In what way was the woman isolated in her own community?
  2. Do we make space for others when preoccupied with other concerns?
  3. What are the deepest needs of the people in your community?
  4. In what way can we help the people in the community take initiative to change their situation?

Prayer:

Dear Lord, we know you care deeply for our needs and for our community. Show us how our church can be a cloak of healing and peace for those in need.  Amen.