As a woman of a certain age, I thought I’d finally earned the right to laugh at the silly things teenagers dream up.  Yet here we are facing an unprecedented rise in teen suicide.

It would be easy to blame social media and the lack of “real” relationships in their “self-isolating” lives, but I think we all know there’s something deeper going on here.

Where is our hope? Why don’t they have it? Have we even offered it to them? Whether we realize it or not, this pandemic has stolen or damaged even the simplest pleasures we had in life.

My hope is in Jesus and I believe that He sacrificed Himself so that we can enjoy eternal life. Do we talk about that anymore or are we afraid of being viewed as “pressuring” and maybe even offending someone? I’ve been guilt of that. For sure, I have!

So as I was thinking about the pain in this world and comparing that to my own experience, it occurred to me that I’m being selfish. If I have a hope that brings me joy in everyday life, if I know that secret, I want to share it! The “real” good news is not just about what happens to me after I die. It’s about how I get to experience THIS LIFE through Jesus’s eyes.

I see how incredibly different and uniquely gifted each person is and I notice how their perspective adds something I wouldn’t have seen without them. I feel compassion for their hardships and sadness and look for ways my own uniqueness might make things a little better. You see, my faith isn’t about what happens “some day.” It lets me experience life through the eyes of Love which, in turn, yields the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These aren’t virtues to be worked on. They are gifts that God gives freely to those who walk in His ways.

If you know someone who needs this good news, I’m posting my very first sermon here. It’s dedicated to the teens who attend my church.