The following is my article for our October newsletter:
As I write this newsletter article, I am also in the midst of preparing for another year of confirmation. First up is 6th grade orientation. And so I am working on putting together the confirmation packets for these new students and their parents. These packets have everything they need to know about the 3 year confirmation experience at Salem.
Part of the confirmation experience is completing requirements. There are 10 Bible verses the kids need to memorize. They need to know their Catechism (Lord’s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed, 10 Commandments, Baptism and Holy Communion). They need to do Bible reading. They need to serve as acolytes and prepare worship notes. They also need to perform service projects. And, of course, they need to attend weekly classes. A lot of things and I am sure many of you have your own confirmations stories (and in some cases, horror stories). The students have three years to complete these requirements.
After I present the requirements to the students and parents, I ask if these are reasonable. Every time, people say “yes”. And why wouldn’t they be reasonable? The requirements that are laid out for the students are the same things I encourage any Christian (adult/youth) to do. I mean, think about it; all these requirements are things that any and every Christian should find joy in doing because of what God has done for them in Jesus. It should be a joy for the Christian to worship, participate in worship and listen intently to the Word. It should be a joy for the Christian to memorize scripture and read their Bible. It should be a joy for the Christian to perform service projects. It should be a joy for a Christian to attend classes and Bible studies. So really, part of confirmation is about teaching kids how to live as Christians; not to impose a set a requirements in order for them to achieve the title, “Confirmed”.
As a Christian, each and every one of you should be considered a “confirmation student”; for the journey of faith is something that should never end. It’s the reason I don’t have confirmands wear white robes when they get confirmed. To me it looks too much like graduation and I don’t want them to think they are done with church; done with their relationship with God. Confirmation is simply a public affirmation of faith and a public commitment to continue to draw closer to God. So therefore, no robes. No graduation.
And you, too, those taking the time to read this article to the end, your journey of faith is never a completed set of requirements but rather should be a joyful journey with your Savior. The difference now is that there is no one checking off when you complete a “requirement”. God definitely isn’t, but don’t let that lead you to become complacent. So as we begin another year of confirmation I encourage you to consider your “requirements” and evaluate how you are doing. Do you need some guidance? Do you need some accountability? Give me call, I’ll sign you up 🙂
The Pastor -|—