Sermon Audio

The band Pearl Jam has a song called “Not For You”, which has a line that says, “All that’s sacred comes from youth.” Powerful statements like this will often highlight the preciousness of certain elements of adolescence — elements of innocence, the courage to dream, and vitality — while also romanticizing the concept of youth as a distant reality, a reality we can appreciate and reminisce without further listening to and welcoming. As a consequence, this paradox creates and reinforces the deep separation between the different “worlds” of adults and kids/teens, where the voice of our kids no longer contribute to informing us of what progress might truly look like.

In this sermon, we invite the listener to engage more critically with the question of whether we truly listen to the voice of our youth — or whether adults, instead, often muffle the youth’s speech by projecting onto them our own expectations. By drawing from the inter-generational dynamics between Jesus and the Pharisees, we attempt to expose some of the ways in which each generation tends to resist any change that up-coming generations feel led to introduce.