“This Changes Everything”

"This Changes Everything" James Kocian/Judi Tyler

When the walls around me crumble
When the ground beneath me shakes
When the skies above me rumble
or when my heart breaks

You're there, with me, with me
Oh God, You never leave

This changes everything, everything
This changes everything, this changes everything, everything
This changes everything, everything
This changes everything, everything

Now we're learning to surrender
In our weakness, You are strong
When we're desperate for a breakthrough
We find hope in You alone

You're there, with us, with us
Jesus, You never leave

It's by grace we are saved, we belong to Jesus
It's by grace we are saved, we belong to Jesus

The theme song of the 2018 National Youth Gathering, "This Changes Everything" sure captures my experience with ELCA Youth Gatherings. I attended my first youth gathering the summer following my freshman year of high school. That week in New Orleans in 2012 changed everything for me. I was set on fire for Jesus! The speakers, service day, worship nights and Sunday morning worship at the dome accumulatively showed me what it means to walk by faith. Now I will be attending my third youth gathering because I simply cannot be filled enough by the Spirit. JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." These words from Ephesians 2:8 are the theme for the Gathering. Saved by grace, we are given Jesus' strength, Jesus' wisdom, Jesus' guidance, Jesus' power and Jesus' discernment to get through every moment of every day. Let Jesus change your heart. Let Jesus fuel a fire to love and serve in our broken world.
(Reflections by Madisyn Waage, Gathering young adult volunteer, University of South Dakota)

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son Jesus who died on the cross to forgive me for my sins. Lord, it is not by anything I have done, but by grace that I have been set free from my sins. Let this change everything. Guide me to live a life that shares your love and forgiveness with others. Amen.

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