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This week the second official trailer for Star Wars VII was released. In no time, Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere were alive with comments and thoughts about what this means for the movie coming out in December 2015.

In case, some how, you missed it, here it is:

The line spoken by Hans Solo (Harrison Ford) is the line that jumped out at me: “Chewie, we’re home!” Clearly, Hans and Chewie have returned to what they do and know best. The film should fill in the blanks as to what they have been doing since episode six. But what is clear from this trailer, is that Solo and Chewie’s passions and skills return to meet the needs of the universe.

And it’ll be awesome, no doubt!

When the skills and passions of someone meet the needs of the world, we call this vocation. Vocation is how a person responds to God and God’s call on their life with his or her own life.

As a youth, I never considered vocation and call being related. I remember this one Sunday morning, during the youth Sunday school class, the teacher asking us what were planning to do when we grew up. It was the question that haunted me most of my childhood. Will I be a firefighter? A teacher? A vet? I admitted in that moment, that I really didn’t know. Although, true be told, the beginnings of hearing God’s call to ordained ministry had already started settling in my soul.

The teacher attempted to make the connection between the vocation of my father and my grandfather and how it might point into the direction of what my vocation may be. They were both worked in stores. My grandfather for the A&P and later Safeway, and my father worked at an auto parts store. That was not something I was interested in doing.

As I stared at the Sunday school books scattered across the folding table, I missed the connection between what my father and grandfather did and how it related to the lesson. I was pondering what it meant to feel called by God and how God would use me to do something about the deep needs and hurts of the world.

Vocation is not simply what someone does, but who someone is.

Vocation has become a key element in ministries with young people. Whether we talk about it as finding your purpose, your identity as a Christian, or answering God’s call on your life, vocation is essential. The moment that brings us hope for the future of the church is when a young person realizes that the gifts and passions God has bestowed on them meet the deep, deep needs in the world.

It is not a stretch to see how the world is turning more and more towards the dark side. On a daily basis we see expressions of injustice and oppression that cause us to wonder if the world has gone back in time. We long for justice. We long for peace. We long for hope.

In my close to fifteen years of youth ministry, I have seen hope for the world and the church through the lives of young people. These young people have discovered through their churches and church related organizations their vocation as who they are and how they can transform the world.

It happens when a young person discovers a passion for food justice and works with various organizations to bring an end to food deserts. It happens when a young person hears the still, small voice of God on a mission trip that leads him to seminary and ordination. It happens when a young person discovers gifts in speech therapy and finds the perfect place for her is working with those with autism. It happens when the young person whose passion has been acting, finds a way to use his talent to share the Gospel.

Upon finding the place where their passions and the world’s needs meet, these young people collectively cry out, “We are home!”

Church, we have a hope. The future of ministry to a hurting world has a bright future.

Ponder It:

  1. What are your skills and passions?
  2. Identify the deep, deep needs of the world.
  3. How can your skills and passions be used to meet some the identified needs in the world?