I love watching my children grow.
This year my eldest will turn 14 years old, and potentially this is the last year that I’ll enjoy the title of ‘Tallest in the Family’. Curiously not lamenting the impending loss of status, in fact, I’m actually looking forward to him growing to his full potential.
And of course, he isn’t just growing vertically, he is also growing in maturity, capability and responsibility. I’m no longer the sole ‘tech’ guru in my house, the one who mows the lawn nor the sole handyman. As you might imagine, I’m really enjoying sharing those roles… although on the flipside I don’t love sharing the TV remote at night.
As we journey through his teenager years together I know that there will be lots of change and disruption… some of it I’ll love but other changes might require me to sacrifice things as I create the space he needs to reach his potential.
One of the things that I’m enjoying as my son grows is the new insight that he is giving me on life and faith. As he shares his learnings and wisdom, it is clear that there are things that he intuitively understands about his generation that aren’t readily apparent to me.
Since his installation, Bishop Mark has encouraged our church to consider the question of Psalm 137 v 4… ‘How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?’ Our church’s place in Australia is vastly different to what it was even two decades ago… so how do we sing the Lord’s song in a way that resonates with this foreign ‘land’ we find ourselves in?
I wonder if the answer to this question might be found in the voice of our young people.
Just as I’m discovering as a parent, the young people in our church have an intuitive understanding of modern culture that isn’t always obvious to the older generations. But we need to create space in our church for them to grow and share their wisdom with us. It will require us older church members to sacrifice some things but it just might help us to sing the Lord’s song in new, innovative ways that resonate in the time and place in which we find ourselves.