Please welcome guest blogger, Baker Lawrimore. Recently, during First Baptist Church of Asheville’s annual youth Sunday, he spoke of his experience on choir tour with the youth group. A portion of his message follows.
This past summer, our youth group went on a choir tour to New England. Towards the end of the tour we drove through Connecticut and were planning to stop in Sandy Hook. We were driving to the elementary school and got stopped at the fire station right outside the school. They didn't want tons of people coming by and turning the school into a tourist attraction. We asked if we could get off the bus and just say a prayer at the fire station close to the school. We got out and we circled up and Jenny said a prayer for us. I don't remember the exact words, but the point of the prayer was that even though things so awful and terrible happen, God is still God.
I'm sure most of you heard about the signs they put up in Sandy Hook saying "We are Sandy Hook and we choose love." I think this shows that the people of Sandy Hook really embody today's Scripture.
To me, the scripture says a few things. It says that I don't have to be held back by grudges or anger anymore because God's telling me to be free from that. It makes me feel blessed because I know I am forgiven. But, most of all, I think this scripture is a call. A call to let the kingdom of God come alive on Earth through your compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness.
Notice that the scripture doesn't simply say to "be kind" or "be patient." It says to "clothe yourselves” with these virtues. The scripture tells us to let the message of Christ dwell among us. My whole life I've been taught that the message of Christ is love. In this passage, it says that "over all these [virtues], put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” This makes me picture love as a big coat. A coat sort of contains all of the other clothes on your body. I take this to mean that when you have love, you also have all of the other virtues. Because when you focus on love, everything else will fall into place.
When we come together and, like the people of Sandy Hook, "choose love," then we also choose compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. And when we do this, we are living together as a community of Christ and glorifying God in everything we do.
Baker Lawrimore is a Senior planning to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the fall, majoring in music education. His primary instrument will be voice and his secondary organ. In addition to his other remarkable qualities, Baker wears size 15 shoes. Go ahead: be impressed.
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