Who’s Your Daddy? by Min. David J. Seymour
Who's your Daddy?
Like many fledgling ministers in the (Black) church, my ministry experience began, working in the Youth Ministry. Although the call on my life is to pastor people in every age group, I will always have a particular sensitivity for young people, particularly college students. In fact, if it were not for the Youth Ministry at my home church, I might not be the man of God that I am today.
In my last days of seminary, I was tasked to interview someone who represented my specific ministry context, to find out any changes they would suggest to the Church. I interviewed a young woman who was a freshman at Northern Illinois University. Her answer haunted me, and it still does. She stated, “If I could make any changes to the Church, I would encourage young people to take God and Church more seriously, we young people are dying faster than the old folks.”
Although I considered myself to be a young person, I recognized in that moment that the generations that are younger than I am are living in a much different reality than I. Her statement caused me to understand that innocence, (and all that goes with it), and youth are not synonymous. I believe that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, but I never really worried about tomorrow. This student’s statement led me to think that the younger generations are more aware of their mortality than my generation.
Unfortunately the reality of this statement is evident every time we turn on the evening news. In Chicago to date, there have been over 200 shootings, and 47 murders. In fact, this weekend, a 15 year old Chicago teenager, Hadiya Pendleton, (who played with her high school band at the Presidential Inauguration in January), will be laid to rest after being gunned down outside of King High School in late January. I found myself asking, “Why are younger people dying at such alarming rates?”
I believe that Luke 7:11-12 offers one element to answer:
King James Version (KJV)
11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
In this story we find a woman who was in the process of burying her only son. Additionally, this woman is identified as a widow, which means that her husband previously died. From the story we know that the son and the father have died, but we do not know how they died.
(The following statement is solely from my own curiosity and imagination and is no way meant to be taken as Biblical truth)
Because we do not know the circumstances of either death, I wonder if these two men died from the same cause. If they did die from the same circumstances, the father died first, could the death of the son have been prevented? Is there information that could have been shared about the father and the circumstances of his death that could have been shared with the son? Could that information save the son’s life? Ultimately, I wonder if the father was present, would the son have died?
How many of our youth are going to an early grave because of the absent fathers?
Topic: Who’s Your Daddy? by Min. David J. Seymour
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