Boundless: God Beyond Measure
Please take the time to read Ephesians 3:19
As I prepare to embark upon another Youth Mission Trip, I am filled with a familiar sense of anticipation and excitement. Youth Mission Trips are mountain-top experiences unlike any other and it has been a blessing to be a part of so many over the years, including when I was in high school. It is powerful to see young people and those we encounter and serve, be renewed and recharged, feel close to God, build incredible relationships, and be inspired to be a blessing to others and the whole world. These are holy moments and to be sure, mission trips create amazing opportunities to bear good fruit.
Our theme for the 2022 Youth Mission Trip is Boundless: God Beyond Measure. This was to have been the theme for the ELCA Youth Gathering this summer before its cancellation. And while we were disappointed to miss this incredible gathering of youth and adults from across our country and our church, this created some new opportunities for us to experience Minneapolis in a different way. Our group will be able to take more time to get to know one another on a deeper level and be recharged by a schedule that isn’t as full.
We will be able to serve with several community organizations and we will connect with one of our Lutheran Outdoor Ministry partners, Camp Wapogasset in Wisconsin, giving us a chance to spend time in God’s creation all week. Gathering for worship around the campfire is a sacred experience. Even in our disappointment that we had to change our plans, God was there creating anew and blessing us in wonderful ways! As it is in all aspects of life.
I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. Ephesians 3:19 CEV
Indeed, we are bound. Bound by our sin, by the expectations of others, by the pressure we put on ourselves, by -isms that try to divide us, and by so much more. In a life that often feels like it has us bound in a suffocating grip, youth mission trips help young people discover how to live into the boundlessness of God. All so abundant and endless it cannot be measured!
Be inspired to go and bear fruit out into the world! I pray that each of us feels a sense of God’s boundless love each and every day and find ways to bear good fruit in the world. As Jesus reminds us in our scripture verse from last week, “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” God’s love and forgiveness are boundless. God is faithful and all that you need will be yours in faith.
Boundless God, thank you for all your promises. As we continue to uphold our promises to one another, help us to remember your promises to love, claim, forgive and keep us. May we trust in the promise that God’s power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.
Written by Ian Hartfield
Ian Hartfield proudly serves as Youth Ministry Coordinator working with Sheridan’s middle school and high school youth. He is an avid history buff and also serves as the Archivist for the Nebraska Synod. Ian and his wife, Meeghan have two daughters, Alexa and Ella, who are also involved in the ministries of Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with friends and family as well as their two dogs, Luke and Leia.
Ian has a passion for youth ministry and loves mission trips and other opportunities to help youth grow in their faith.