C&Y Update 7.7.20: Living In The In-Between

Ever feel like you are living in two spaces at once?

If that describes you right now, you are in good company.

These days in Children & Youth, we are doing a lot of in-betweening.

We are both doing ministry online AND imagining a world where we can come together in-person again. We are both offering programming for kids that need community this summer AND giving freedom to kids that need a break from Zoom. We are both making sure we take Sabbath rest AND preparing for a new ministry year.

Mary Ellen and I are very much an in-between kind of people.

A few months back, I wrote on the exciting possibilities of our new offline/online dual-citizenship. I now realize that this is just one of many worlds we are collectively “in-betweening”. We are both at work AND at home. We are both parents AND primary educators. We are both taking meetings AND sipping piña coladas (joking, but you get the picture).

We, together, are an in-between kind of people.

In a way, we are all remembering what it was like to be 12, 14 or even 18. Not quite a kid AND not quite an adult. Discovering you are different from your parents AND not knowing quite who you are apart from them. Knowing you want to change the world AND not knowing how to make your bed yet.

You guessed it – our youth are an in-between kind of people, too.

So if the lives of our youth are inherently shaped by being in-between, maybe we can learn how to be a better kind of in-between people from them.

At its core, being in-between is the story of the Christian life, isn’t it? God occupied the space between heaven and earth to bring us into his family. We live anticipating the goodness of God and the redemption of the world to come AND looking through a glass dimly.

Being in-between is more than just our experience – it’s our heritage.

Our world desperately needs people that can operate in the in-between. We live in a world threatened by pandemic AND preparing for a world where that threat subsides. We are living in a society marred by white supremacy AND shaping it into one of racial justice and true flourishing for all people.

Being in-between is the story of our world AND the story of our lives. It also happens to be the story of our youth. Youth can teach us about participating with God in making all things new, and do so simply by being themselves.

It makes me think of Jesus calling us to childlike faith – or youthlike faith, if I may. Maybe it’s a faith that lives in the in-between, looking to God in everything, and joining him on the adventure.

Best,
Jack

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