Confirmation Sunday

 May 20, 2018

Confirmation Sunday was celebrated on the Day of Pentecost as three young adults confessed their faith in the Church.  The Spirit gifts us individually so we may grow and thrive collectively.  Likewise, each individual contribution from the students is an affirmation in itself; while the collective message they share together is a testament to how God has used Christ Lutheran Church to bring forth new life and new workers in the Kingdom.

Instead of the ‘traditional’ Shepherding Thoughts this month, I have been asked to share the words of the Confirmands.  In their second year of Confirmation, they read the book, Conversations with St. Bernard by Jim Kraus.  Jim writes how God is at work in the world through the relationships we form out of want, choice, and necessity.  I asked each student to reflect upon two questions:  How is God at work in your life?  And, How is God at work in the world. 

Kaleab goes forth today with the understanding that Confirmation is a decision he chose for the sake of making a difference in his church community.  He understand his decision carries new responsibility and new risk that can only be encountered with the same faith that carried him to this point.  More than anything, Kaleab sees (what we should all see) that Confirmation is the point in his life where he becomes (with the help of God) a witness and an example of the Christian life for others to see: he sees his life as the means by which others may come to know what God has done for them through Jesus Christ.

Isabella already sees the activity of God’s gifts present in the lives of people helping people…AND, people improving the quality of life for people; as in the gifts of arts, music, painting, dance, and a variety of creative talents and skills.  With a pure heart, Isabella sees the value of each human life to God and the need for all people to work together.  She understands that we cannot all be artists and still have value to God (and those around us) when we have no creative talent what so ever.  Because sometimes, the patience and compassion to sit and hold someone’s hand (who is lonely or afraid) is the greatest gift, blessing, and treasure you could ever provide or ever receive!

John’s reflection is deeply rooted in faith and trust.  It is the reality that God is truly in control of this world in ways we can see and understand and in ways that we are still exploring.  At the heart of John’s message the need for ‘relationships’ in the world, in our community, and in our  personal lives.  And through these relationships, God accomplishes His work through our hands and hearts for our mutual prosperity and our eternal future. 

Their growth in Christian faith for Kaleab, Isabella, and John is not a coincidence; it is as God planned.  God used their families and their church so they might continue with the same care, compassion, confidence that has carried them to this point all for the sake of the lives (the relationships) they are yet to encounter and engage with.  God’s blessings and peace be with them and with us all.
~Pastor Tony