This Sunday some congregations in our community will hear the story of Solomon’s dream when he prays for wisdom (I Kings 3:5-12).

Recognizing his own youthfulness and acknowledging his lack of experience to provide leadership, Solomon asked the Lord to give “your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern God’s people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people.”(1 Kings 3:9) His request pleased the Lord, and so God answered Solomon’s prayer by giving him the wisdom he knew he needed.

As we near the end of July, I give thanks for the inspirational stories I am hearing from many young leaders who have donated their time to others. The young leaders have spent a week of their summer on a mission trip or at a bible camp. These stories of lives transformed by God’s grace are abundant and give me hope. At Prince of Peace, our staff is looking forward to absorbing the joyous energy and excitement that children will share during vacation bible school next week. Children and their young adult leaders will gather to grow in God’s grace through bible lessons, skits, prayer and songs of praise. It is not surprising that some staff refer to VBS as the best week of the year.

What a joy it is to see seeds of faith take root and begin to grow in the lives of these young people. I see God at work in the lives of high school students as they exercise their faith through leadership roles with VBS. Indeed the reign of God is near when seeds of faith, hope and love are planted in the hearts of children as they hear about God’s love for them in Jesus Christ.

God’s people of all ages may learn from Solomon and the youth in our community. The mission of the church is to freely share the good news of Jesus Christ with all who have ears to hear. As God’s life giving word of love is sown into our hearts, may we continually seek to serve God with humility, turning to God in prayers for wisdom and courage to be instruments of God’s peace in the world.

The Rev. Kent D. Johnson is pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, La Crescent.