This past Sunday morning marked the 40th hour youth from St John and the neighbourhood had been together learning how to be heroes. We spent our time defining who heroes were and why. We watched films like The Help and The Great Debaters. We met real heroes like Dr. Tanner who serves the homeless women a few blocks away from our church, and Jesse who hosts Ottawa International Drumming Festival events that serve youth in Liberia. We talked about our heroic God and the incredible acts of Jesus, big and small. And we took all that we learned together and wrote it up as a play and those same sleep-deprived youth got up there on Sunday morning and shared it with the rest of us.
In the middle of the play, which was in place of the sermon for worship, a police officer came up the middle isle to the front pew where I was sitting. With his loud fluorescent vest on he tapped me on the shoulder and asked that I come outside with him.
People often say, “How does this stuff happen to you?” Well it just does. And it did again on Sunday morning as I was led down the centre of the church in front of all the youth leading worship and the people gathered.
This was not exactly the image that worshippers were looking for on Sunday morning. The reason for the intrusion was due to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s departure. They were using our street to get him to the airport and all cars needed to be removed. The police assumed that the bulk of the cars were due to people coming to St John. They were right in their assumption. Their approach…well that is a post for another time since Netanyahu didn’t leave until 8:30pm.
The point of sharing this story with you is twofold: The play was a big hit. The youth loved doing it and the people wanted more. It is a wonderful idea to let youth put themselves into a play like this. It makes it more authentic for everyone. The play is attached to this post.
The second reason is to tell you that despite the glaring intrusion into a place of worship by two police officers, our youth did not skip a beat in that play. Where many of us would have stopped or at the very least stumbled, these youth kept on leading the people of God with a message worth hearing.
Oftentimes I hear people say, “our youth are the leaders of tomorrow”. I disagree. Our youth are leaders today!