Sylvania United Church of Christ
Claimed by God, Responding as Disciples
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The sermon for week May 22, 2016

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Youth Sunday: Perseverance

Audio has our graduating seniors introducing themselves, Liz Hildebrandt reading 1 Corinthians 13 and Larson Long delivering the sermon.

In case you havenít noticed, the theme of our service is perseverance. Not only is it the focal point of the bible verse we put on our banner, but itís an idea we have had to stick with the last few years, and will need for the near future. College isnít easy- Iím sure many of you know that. Itíll take plenty of perseverance for us to get through, but we can handle it.

But anytime the going gets rough and you have to really push to get through, itís normal to ask if itís even worth it. After all, you will one day inevitably die, your impact on the earth will fade away, the sun will engulf the Earth as it runs out of fuel and you will have ultimately not mattered in the grandest scheme of things. Sorry, that that was a little nihilistic. But then again, todayís scripture is pretty negative, too: it mentions, in essence, the futility of everything we do.

So why do we do it- why do we keep persevering? I think this scripture holds the answer. After it gets done bemoaning the futility of it all the scripture says: ďAnd now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.Ē Without love it makes us out to be nothing more than pointless noise in the universe, but love can act as a grounding rock in our lives. The whole scripture implies that without love everything we do is hollow and meaningless in a way, and love will not only protect us but add meaning to our lives.

So what should you take away from this? I certainly donít expect to instill any behavioral changes in these well-educated folks, given that Iím nothing more than a know-it-all teenage kiddo standing on a podium. Maybe I can get you to think a little bit, though. Think about what you really love- it doesnít have to be a person; maybe you love painting, or sewing, or maybe you love your car: I know I do. Chances are that acts as a grand goal of your life, and Iíd like to think thatís what the scriptureís getting at.

We up here are in an interesting situation, because Iím pretty sure Iím not going to love college, and I certainly wonít love that dinky piece of paper at the end of it. Rather, we push through college on faith with the hope itíll get us to something weíll love: possibly our career, or possibly something else in real life. We have faith weíre on the right road. Hey, that sounded familiar! Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. Itís what we hope for; what we have faith weíll find.

In short, life is tough, and at times bleak, but as long as you have love itís worth it.

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