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Anglican Children and Youth
Ministries Commission

God’s Spirit for All

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The Revd Mark Grobicki, Priest-in-Charge, Parish of Bassendean and member of the Anglican Children and Youth Ministries Commission (ACYMC)

In the previous few ACYMC Messenger articles you will have seen mention of the ACYMC Breakfast, scheduled for the morning of Saturday 9 September. We’d love you to please come to that breakfast, and share your thoughts, wisdom, dreams and questions.

But there’s something even more: we’d love you to pray. I’m writing this in the lead up to Pentecost. And Pentecost reminds us that, of course, all the best ideas and plans in the world will be of no value if they aren’t of God: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts’ (Zechariah 4:6).

Yet even more. Why is ministry and mission to children and youth important? Pentecost reminds us that the love and life of God is explicitly for all, young as well as old. In our family the current favourite TV show is undoubtedly Bluey (which even this adult confesses to getting a lot of laughs and life-lessons from!). One of the Bluey episodes is about the ‘right’ way to play pass the parcel. Now for most of us reading this, when we were young, pass the parcel had only one gift. But these days, the normal way is every kid gets a present. Yes! It’s gone from being a limited gift, to one for everyone. And that’s a little illustration analogous to the change in the gift of the Spirit under the New Covenant.

Under the Old Covenant, the indwelling gift of God’s Spirit was limited to specific individuals, and then often only for specific tasks and durations. But now that Christ has died for sin, been raised and ascended, God’s Spirit is given to all God’s people. Young explicitly included. As Peter quotes from Joel, God promises ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, and your young men shall see visions’ (Acts 2:17; quoting Joel 2:28). The promise of the Spirit for those who repent and are baptised is ‘for you’ and ‘for your children’ (Acts 2:39).

So will you join us in praying for children and youth in our Diocese? I’m sure we all long to have more children and youth active in our churches or school groups. But we do so, not just because they are the future of our churches and Diocese (which of course they are). But because of the love of Christ. Because children and youth are precious image-bearers of God; and because God’s love and salvation are for children and youth too. Because just as in his earthly ministry Jesus said ‘let the little children come to me’, so too in his heavenly ministry he is pleased to pour out his Spirit on every child and youth who does.

So in your parish, school, home, could you pray, perhaps even gather with a few others to pray, especially for children and youth? And as you pray for their provision and protection, their mental health, their education and care, will you also pray for a gracious outpouring of God’s Spirit that they may know the life and love of God in Christ? For, ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Acts 2:21).

Published in Messenger June 2023

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