March 17, 2024

Series: March 2024

Speaker: Youth Group


Today's Sermon




Ephesians 4:7-16

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;he gave gifts to his people.” (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. 

Hello everyone, my name is Cal Keenley and I am a sophomore at Branson High School. Some of you might know me as Abby and Cate’s brother, others as the guy who knocked Elaine over during a frisbee game during Reclaim weekend (Once again I am so sorry Elaine). There, my lack of judgment and responsibility for those around me got the better of me.

Responsibility is a strong word. For me, responsibility is that sense of duty and obligation not only to ourselves but to others around us. It also means we need to be accountable. Jeff, I thank you for reminding me week after week to pick up my bedding from Reclaim weekend even after I said I would do it the next time, and the time after that … you get the idea. Mom and Dad, I thank you for holding me accountable for making my bed every morning, even though I believe I shouldn’t because I am going to sleep in it later in the day. I mean who needs 8 different pillows? And lastly, I thank everyone here today, as I could not stand in front of a crowd like this normally if it were not for everyone sitting with me today. Church Family, I am so grateful to be here today. To me, everyone here is like a support group that is so open to conversation to a teenager like me.

These feelings of responsibility relate to us naturally and in the Bible. It is shown in Matthew 16:18, which reminds us that Christ Himself built this church. It is his instrument for carrying out the work of God. It is our responsibility as Christians to remind each other that Christ is with us, and he cares for us. As worshippers, we have a responsibility to support and encourage each other. As my aunt once told me, “Smile every day, and smile at people. You don’t know what that person has gone through today, and that smile could be the reason their day got even the slightest bit better.”

The writer of Hebrews teaches us not to neglect meeting together, but to spur one another towards love and good deeds. During the pandemic, mostly every Monday night, my mom and I would make lunches for the senior center. I did not know it at the time, but my mother was putting me on that path towards love and good deeds. These lunches could make a difference in the lives of others, just like smiling could change the way a person feels or acts.

As believers in Christ, it is our responsibility to support others and encourage each other. Even if it only has the slightest impact, you can change a person’s life. Be active in your community, be responsible for how others may feel that day. I can personally tell you that it makes the difference, seeing that one person smiling at me in the hallways at school, at church, in life just in general, makes my day instantly better.

I invite you to turn to the person next to you and talk briefly about how you can be responsible in your life. How can you take responsibility for others on their spiritual journey through life?

Let’s be responsible and be the reason somebody goes to school that day, to church on Sundays, or even the reason for somebody to make their bed every morning (love you mom). Our responsibility is to support and encourage each other. Our responsibility is to not just attend church, but to be the church. Be a beacon of light and live out your faith daily as humans. Before you leave church this morning, smile at someone you never have before, talk with someone new, be the one who makes a difference. May we fulfill our responsibilities with joy, knowing that we serve a faithful and loving God. And may God empower us to fulfill these responsibilities with grace and love. Amen.