I keep giving Terry Rush the credit when I quote his wonderful insights from 2 Corinthians 4:16:
“Inwardly, we are being renewed day by day.”
God’s Holy Spirit is making us new every day. Our Lord is re-inventing us, re-energizing us, re-charging us every day. Terry looks at this verse and says, “We’re all in the youth group!” We’re being made younger every day. We have no excuses for acting old and worn out. We’re being renewed every day!
Terry is going to die long before I do. And when he does, I’m going to go all the way and steal his “We’re all in the youth group!” line and make it my own.
The annual Fall Festival here at Central is the one night when most of us really do act like we’re all a bunch of little kids. Sneed Hall was jam packed Wednesday evening with more than 500-people — some in costume, some not in costume, some I couldn’t tell — at least half of whom I don’t think are members of our congregation. We judged pumpkin carvings, sang Karaoke, ate hot dogs and nachos and cotton candy, and donned huge blowup suits to battle one another in an inflated boxing ring. The littlest kids threw bean bags and skipped through the cakewalk while the older ones changed tires with an air wrench and twirled hula hoops.
What I love most about the Fall Festival is the way our older members at Central jump right into the fray. Our older members are dressing up and running the booths. Chasing runaway footballs and applying stick-on tattoos, passing out candy and fudging the masking tape line on the floor just a tiny bit so the little girl in the princess suit can win a prize. Fall Festival is always for the kids; the food and the booths and the music and all the activities are designed for the children. But I get such a kick out of the way our older members seem to be having just as much fun as our kids. Our older people are down on the floor with the kids, high-fiving the kids, complimenting and encouraging the kids. And they’re grinning from ear to ear. I didn’t know some of these people were capable of smiling, much less these great big gut laughs! But we get them in a room full of children, and it just happens.
What a joy it is when our older people embrace our younger kids with the love and grace of Jesus. And what a blessing to see that love and grace returned ten-fold to those who give it.
Speaking of Terry Rush, the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Tulsa has announced the lineup of keynote speakers for the upcoming Tulsa Workshop in March that includes author Francis Chan. Internationally influential pastor and preacher, New York Times best selling author, keynote speaker at the Tulsa Workshop. Now Chan’s life’s work is complete.