I think it is really important for local preachers for develop a good rapport with the youngsters who attend our Churches and as such I have volunteered to speak with the senior group in the Sunday School. Today I went back at their request which was a real benefit and meant I must have said something of value the last time I paid a visit!!
I was asked to talk about the "Armour of God" today so we started the session - which was quite time limited due to a number of issues - by reading Ephesians 6 and Luke 22 where Jesus talks uncharacteristically about grabbing swords if they have any.
We opened a discussion as to what people think of when they hear the phrase " The armour of God", and the youngsters had some interesting ideas. The underlying idea of course is that Paul was being metaphorical when talking about military clothing, and that Christianity is not about power or military might. In fact perhaps Paul was using that Metaphor because he was living in an Empire that was rule with a very strong and merciless military might. Jesus' invitation to the disciples to arm themselves is clothed in irony of course, and isn't an instruction that is ok to defend ourselves with weapons. See what happens later, when one of his disciples use one of their swords - reckless to say the least when surrounded by the Temple guard - and Jesus commands them to put them away and heals the High Priest's servant's ear. The last documented healing miracle of his life.
We then moved on to discuss how one can put on an armour that is invisible and intangible, and one the group piped up that it is about relaxing in God. Wow, out of the mouths of children........
So we talked a bit about how important relationship with God is, and how it is OK for people of all ages to talk to God freely, sometimes even get cross with God, after all it is better to talk in a relationship that to stop talking and listening. It is when we do the latter that the relationship is bound to suffer.
Look forward to meeting with these young people again!