On Sunday, May 20th, we confirmed 7 young people into the faith and family of Jesus Christ! Confirmation is the rite by which young people choose this faith as their own. After being baptized as infants or children, they have the chance to learn deeply about Christianity (and other religions!) and make a mature, informed, personal decision to commit to this faith.
It was a gift and a joy to work with each of these people. The fact that they wanted to commit themselves to us—and to let us commit ourselves to them—is a beautiful thing, something to be celebrated, and a sign of the health of our church. We are nurturing faith in young people, and they in turn are teaching us and making our community richer and better.
The confirmation liturgy involves the confirmands affirming the baptismal vows. We used our older set of baptismal vows—the ones closer to the vows their parents would have made over them (the baptismal views we use now were written by Pastor Cheryl and I, and are a little bit different). The confirmands made a few changes to them, too—they wanted to highlight the joy of living a Christian life, and wanted to commit to loving and caring for people of different faiths.
Confirmation isn’t just a chance for these seven to commit themselves—it’s also a chance for each of us to remember what it is we believe, why it is we’re here, and what we promise to do as Christians. Will you look over these vows, and take a moment to recommit yourself to this faith of ours?
Siblings in Christ, do you affirm your faith in God as known in Jesus Christ, and as God comes to us today through the power of the Holy Spirit?
Do you promise to participate in the life and mission of this family of God’s people, sharing in the worship of God and joining in the work of this congregation and the wider church as it seeks to serve the community and the world in faithfulness to Christ?
Do you accept the joy and challenge of living a Christian life, using your individual gifts to grow and to serve in the spirit of Jesus Christ?
Do you promise to resist oppression and evil, to show love, justice and mercy, and to witness to the work and word of Jesus Christ as best you are able?
Do you promise to choose mercy rather than judgment, and to respect and love those who are different from you, and to live as neighbors with people of other faith and no faith?
Do you intend to continue your search for faith, for meaning, and for truth in your life?
I also prayed blessings for each of them—personalized blessings that asked the Spirit to come into their lives and use their particular gifts and personalities. If you want a blessing of your very own, I would be so honored to bless you—just send me an email or give me a call or find me after church. I mean it!
With you in Christ’s love,