I’m a baseball fan. Of course, I have my favorite team, but I’m honestly one of those fans who love and appreciate the classic game of baseball. When I visit cities that have a baseball team, I’m quick to try to find a ticket to get a glimpse at their stadium and see what the atmosphere is like among those fans.
A few weeks ago, I walked into a stadium that I had never been to before – one of the classics. While in Boston for a work trip, my wife and I got tickets with friends to see the Red Sox play at Fenway Park. I was a bit overwhelmed when I walked in and saw the Green Monster in the outfield. I began to imagine what it was like to be in that stadium for one of the eight World Series Championships won by the Red Sox. I was full of WONDER as I walked to my seat and settled in for a great night of baseball in a place that smelled like baseball in every kind of way!
I’ve come to find that people just don’t seem to find wonder in much of anything anymore. Is it the pace of life that we live? Is it because there are so many gadgets and devices that we use to make our life convenient? There could be multiple reasons that we are lacking wonder in the world we live in today. But we’re missing a significant measure of astonishment when we don’t allow ourselves to experience the wonder of something—or SOMEONE—that is clearly WONDERFUL.
As young adult ministry leaders, we have the opportunity to help those in our groups to experience the WONDER of walking in a relationship with Jesus. There are a few areas that we can point them toward that are truly wonder-worthy.
1. The Wonder of Forgiveness
The very idea of living in forgiveness does not cross the minds of many as they go throughout their daily routine. However, as followers of Christ, we walk in the forgiveness that comes through Jesus and Jesus alone. The transaction that took place on the Cross when Christ paid the penalty for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) so that we might know the true forgiveness of God is breathtaking. When young adults genuinely grasp the power of forgiveness, they can’t help but walk in wonder of being forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, CSB)
2. The Wonder of Grace
There are many young adults that believe that God is simply not for people like them. It may be because of past decisions/actions or a general disbelief in who Jesus said He was and is. However, when young adults begin to believe and experience the genuine forgiveness that comes through Christ, it’s then that the wonder of grace becomes even more evident.
There is absolutely nothing that we can do to earn God’s love or approval, but it’s through His grace we’re in relationship with Him. In a culture that is all about “earning” your way, there should be in wonder at the very idea of grace.
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
3. The Wonder of God’s Sovereignty
There is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. As King of kings and Lord of lords, God has no limitations. When young adults can begin to walk in this truth, it is freeing to trust in His goodness, forgiveness, and grace.
To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High.
“LORD my God, you have done many things—
your wondrous works and your plans for us;
none can compare with you.
If I were to report and speak of them,
they are more than can be told.”(Psalm 40:5)
How are you going to encourage the young adults within your influence to slow down and focus on the wonder of a relationship with Jesus? How are you going to be an example of always seeking the wonder in your relationship with Christ?
Mark Whitt is a collegiate minister with Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Connect with Mark via Twitter.