Everything that begins has an end. The #ayc22 reaches its final moments of emotion: shared joys for renewed friendships and sadness for having to leave behind new friends, with the hope of seeing them again in four years and the desire that another, even bigger and better concert will bring us all together at the feet of Jesus, who has brought us here and accompanies us in the farewells. Around 2,500 young people committed to God and their neighbor—2,500 volunteers with a mission that goes beyond all borders and nations—2,500 Christians who, despite not always being understood in their places of origin, do not cease in their efforts to make this a better world while we wait for an eternal one.
On Sabbath, the last day of the congress, 12 young people from different countries were baptised. David Asscherick, special guest speaker for the congress, delivered a message of hope during the last day—a message of resurrection and glory.
“How do we plug in?” was the initial question Asscherick asked. That was the theme and main subject of the week. The answer he gave was that “we plug in by faith”.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1–4, NKJV).
The main points stressed by Asscherick were that we died (past), our lives are hidden with Christ (present), and we will appear with Him in glory (future).
The key point is that sometimes people don’t understand the essence of baptism. Paul was talking about baptism in these verses. Since we are breathing creatures, what happens to us during baptism is very graphic. While we are under the water, we do not breathe; we are like the dead ones. However, the very first thing we do right after we come out of the water is take a deep breath; we come to “life” again, a symbol of breathing the breath of life in Jesus.
In any case, a ceremony is just the public statement of a profound relationship and commitment that has already started. The day of the baptism is a day of death, but also a day of birth—a new life—a new opportunity given by God.
“The God of the universe is not someone to hide from, but to hide in,” stressed Asscherick. Normally, we run away from God because of the way we believe He thinks or feels about us. However, the reality is way different. If we really knew what God thinks and feels about His lost children, we would run towards Him to hide in Him instead of running away to hide ourselves from Him.
God’s grace is as “big” as is God Himself. Just to give a hint, Asscherick noted, “Have you seen, with the Hubble and now Webb telescopes, how big the universe is? And do you realise that the God of this universe is bigger than the universe itself? How in the world could your sins surpass the grace of this, our God?”
Therefore, despite the place in which someone is right now, if his or her life is hidden in Jesus, somehow that person is sitting with Him as well as at the right side of the Father.
The three ideas for maximum happiness that Asscherick proposed are: be thankful, unlock joy, and then worship. This reminds us of God’s transcendence and our dependence on Him. Everything can and should be an act of worship. The opportunities to worship abound. Be holy (see Titus 2:14); be different; be unique; be peculiar for God. By keeping the Sabbath and resting in Jesus, we are already different, peculiar, and unique.