I’ve always had troubles with these words from the Gospel of Mark 4. 25, “For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” I know I am probably misinterpreting them. After last night, they are rattling around in my mind. I serve an urban congregation. We have a small youth group. This Spring they spent many hours reclaiming an old youth room in our building, cleaning it out and painting it. Through grant money we purchased an XBox Kinect. It was intended to enable them to play and be active. We put it all together, and the youth were able to use it at most three times. Last night, we discovered that it is missing–most likely stolen. We don’t know who did it.
Truthfully, I am angry. These kids really have so many limitations in their lives. In some of their neighborhoods, it is not safe for them to just go out and play. They can’t just go for a run or exercise. They aren’t part of sports teams and leagues. Some haven’t even had gym class. They don’t have multiple electronics and nice computers. And when they do get something, look what happens. It gets stolen
From those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
Our challenge, among so many others, then is to work to make the first part of that verse just as real, “For to those who have, more will be given”. Of course I’m not talking about game systems and stuff. I am talking about faith, perseverance, and even forgiveness.
Because of what happened, last night we talked about how desperate and sad it is to steal from kids, from a church youth group, and we prayed for whoever hurt us. Now, I’m not saying our anger magically disappeared. No, this is a process and a journey, and that’s why we are together. It’s more than a LifeSkill (the name of our summer youth activities); it’s a GodSkill. I ask you to join us in our struggles, in our joys, and in our prayers.