The confirmation kids from Zion and St. Michaels started classes this year after the departure of Pastor Sue and before Pastor Dan arrived. Thanks to all the parents and Zion members that helped teach the Wednesday night classes until Pastor Dan was able to step in. The whole confirmation class helped prepare and serve breakfast Easter morning. They also attended workshops hosted at St. Michaels and taught by Pastor Dan on how to pray and the significance of music to our worship service. Zion Confirmed eight students this past April.
Congratulations to all eight young men and women for all your hard work.
“DEVOTION: SO I’M CONFIRMED…NOW WHAT?
Confirmands of 2018, and ALL who have confirmed their faith in Christ: By the grace of God and the faith He has grown in you, you made the confession of your people your own. So, what’s next? Of course you’ll be back to confess this faith with God’s family as often as it gathers here, right? Sure! What could come between you and this faith? Nothing! God has said nothing will snatch you out of his hand, right?
While that is true, God’s story is full of vignettes or actual occurrences where God’s people wander out of His hand. They are never snatched, but they allow themselves to become distracted, and slowly they wander away until they are lost again, stuck in the sin and death from which God first saved them. You all know the stories. Parables about sheep. Or instead The nation of Israel: their desert journey and after settling the Promised Land. Saul, David, Solomon, the kings that followed. The Scribes and Pharisees during Jesus ministry. Judas. Peter. Some of these people had God incarnate literally right in front of them and still they missed what was happening!
In your public declaration of faith, you say you believe in, and have a basic understanding of who God is and what He does. He creates. He confronts. He forgives. He restores. He makes whole. We see this happen every time we gather together in His name. His Spirit works through His Word, water, bread and wine, body and blood. It was His Spirit at work through water and the Word that first brought you into this family. It is His Spirit that reminds and refreshes your spirit daily of the new identity in Him. It is His Spirit at work in the Word and elements in His Supper gives comfort, forgiveness, and newness of life.
But, some days this isn’t going to seem like enough. Some days will seem boring and empty. Those days or weeks or months or years are going to be a difficult time of testing of your faith. Times when sleep will seem so much sweeter than Christ’s body. When the attention and affection of another will seem so much more central than God’s affection for you. When anything other than God and His work in this part of His family in this place will seem like a better use of your time and energy. Some days this confession, this faith, this way of life will be contrary to everything you are experiencing. In those moments, when faith, God, and His Church seem meaningless, remember what God has done. Remember, the death and darkness from which He brought you. Remember, what He did on the cross and in the tomb. Remember, this is not a cleverly invented story by a bunch of individuals you never knew. It is the reality of God coming to you, claiming you through His own means and power. So, even if you wander away. Even if you starve your faith of all the Spirit does to nurture it, as long as it is called to today, you are never beyond God’s saving reach.
In light of a God whose grace reaches so deep, and lasts so long, do not resist the Spirit at work in you! This faith you profess is not just your own, nor merely your parents, nor a large group of eccentric people in this town. Faith is the work of the Spirit in you, in your parents, in this community of believers. As you reflect on your confirmation remember what it truly means and let the Spirit work in you.
Pray: Holy Spirit, You have brought me to believe and to say that Jesus is my Lord, my Savior, my God. In the days to come, grow this faith to endure whatever may come, so that when Christ returns, I am found among the people of God. Guide me to use the gifts You’ve given to bless those around me, both in and outside Your Church. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
For the road: You made your confession of Jesus during confirmation. How will you make that confession today and in the future?”
Written by: Vicar Troxel
(the above was posted on Holy Trinity Lutheran Churches website, from June 7, 2015 in Edmond, OK)