2 Corinthians 4:18
18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
My first memories of Christian Educators Fellowship are from behind the scenes. CEFers were unseen wonders to my mind.
I had the pleasure of working on worship materials for CEF 1996. I was amazed to hear of all the various working groups within the United Methodist Church, and that a group would be dedicated to Christian Education and gathering together to form ideas, hopes, dust off the playbook, and develop a sense of community around worship.
I then heard more tales of the CEF 1998 Conference when my bosses (2 out of three of those who oversaw my work as an Assistant Youth Director in a large metropolitan church) returned from their time of celebration with this fine group of dedicated professionals (yes, I consider the volunteers to be professionals too – your payments just don’t look the same). I think I may have even received a few “give-aways” from their trove of gifts that CEF shares with so many of its participants.
What I began to see was not so much with my eyes, but with my soul, for I began to see the effects that CEF has on its participants, both as a contributor to the behind-the-scenes aspects, and the participatory aspects. The changes in my co-workers was one that was renewed and refreshed, excited by the energy of a group of persons seeking to teach the Gospel to the world around us.
Realizing this allowed me to reconnect with the “unseen” God who moves and transforms the lives of persons around us. We don’t necessarily see the group itself, but the effects of the group upon the lives of those around us, just as with God. We may not see God, or hear God, but we see and hear what God has done for those around us, inviting us into a new future with Christ.
I am excited to participate once again as one of those who may not get to see the whole event from the eyes of a participant, but as one who gets to see the effect of the event upon the lives of those who are fully involved. Thank you for letting me be a part in such an amazing organization.
Dearest Lord God, I do not always get to see with my own eyes, but I pray that you will show me through the eyes and stories of others. Your story is lasting and eternal, and will always be spoken through your people, excite me to be one of your people, who lives and acts and educates for the next generation that your Word may live on through eternity. Amen.
I did not see it for myself, but by trusting in the experience of another I may see more clearly.