Youth News - March 2010
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YOUTH NEWS - March 2010

As I'm writing this article I'm looking out the window at a massive blizzard, and I'm getting things geared up for this year's ski retreat in the Poconos! Three years ago, I was nervous about taking the youth group on the ski retreat because I'd never been skiing before. I remember thinking how embarrassing it would be if I was leading the trip and I went out there with no skill whatsoever. I wasn't too excited about my first time skiing, but I was willing to give it a good shot.

What I eventually found that weekend is that I really like skiing! It wasn't all natural for me in the beginning, but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed myself and have been enjoying skiing with the youth group each year since. There were some other first-time skiers on that trip as well, and a couple of them have come to really enjoy it and look forward to our trip every year.

What do you like to do for fun? What do you do for recreation? Do you have any creative skills? Where do your talents lie?

A couple of days ago, our youth group looked at Genesis 1 and started a discussion about what it means to be created in the image of God. In Genesis 1.26-27 we read, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

Ancient rulers used to set up images of themselves in far away lands to represent their authority in every region of their empires. And there is a degree to which human beings are supposed to represent God's authority in this world – an image of God that has been distorted by sin in the human race, but one that God is restoring in all those who trust in Christ!

In Genesis 1 we also learn, among other things, that God is creative and that He appreciates His own creativity. There are seven times in that chapter where we read that God saw that what He created was "good."

I often wonder if our own creativity and appreciation of created things is part of what we've inherited as creatures made in God's image. Humans are the only creatures on the planet that write and read novels, create and listen to music, paint works of visual art and set up galleries to admire them, create sports and organize teams and methods to enjoy them... the list can go on.

I believe that our creativity and recreation are good gifts from the Lord, and that creativity and recreation in our church and in our homes can help us to understand a little bit more fully what it means to be created in the image of God. Having God first in our hearts is most important, of course, because so many people have gone to the extreme of turning things like images, music, movies, and sports into idols.

But with Jesus at the center of our lives, we can use the creative and recreational gifts that God has given us! What are your talents? And how can you use them to reflect God's image in this world?

Matt Kay

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