Last Sunday, Prince of Peace/Principe de Paz started its latest Confirmation class. Confirmation class is one of my favorite hours of the week and the opportunity to lead Confirmation is a major reason why I wanted to pursue a career in Youth and Family Ministry. Confirmation, at its core, is the opportunity to teach young people the basics of the Christian faith. I love that the catechism asks so many of the questions that we all struggle with AND provides answers that are straight from the Bible. This simple “question and answer” format has been the start if a lot of really great conversations with many of my students over the years.
Last Sunday was typical for a “first class”. The students were all quiet and every time I asked a question, the students looked around to see if anyone else would answer the question first. Nobody wanted the attention that comes with answering questions in class. By the end of our first class, a few had warmed up a little, but no one was as talkative yet as I can see that probably will be.
About two thirds of the way through our scheduled time, after we had passed out materials and answered a few “get to know you” questions, we started to explore the catechism. The very first question in Luther’s Small Catechism is “What is the Christian Faith?”. Before looking at Luther’s response, a few brave souls offered their own opinions. “A Christian is someone who goes to church” came one answer while another said, “A Christian is someone who is baptized.” After discussing the truths and limitations of those responses, we turned to Luther, who answered: ” The Christian Faith is the confession that Jesus Christ is the world’s only savior and redeemer.”
I looked up to see confused faces. One student asked, “Isn’t confession what you do after you do something bad?” I explained that admitting something that you have done that is bad is a common use of the word, but not the only one. I went on to demonstrate that “confession” really means “to tell the truth”. It doesn’t matter if it is “good or bad”- it simply conveys truth.
I sometimes wonder if my words and actions, attitudes and behaviors tell the truth or “confess” what Jesus means to me. When I am short tempered or angry over insignificant things, does this tell the world the truth about the depths of God’s grace? Does my lack of concern for others tell the truth about God’s abounding love? I consistently find truth lacking in what my actions and words confess about God to the world.
The Good News, I confess, is that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross covers the multitude of our sins. Our missed opportunities to share Jesus with the world are just that- missed opportunities. Our God forgives them and presents us with new opportunities to “confess” our faith each morning. I pray that you will seek out meaningful ways to tell the truth about our amazing God with your words and actions today and each new day. The world needs to hear this “confession”.
Dear Jesus, every good thing in my life comes from you- especially the heavenly home that awaits me because of your sacrifice. Help me to confess this truth of who you are and what you have done for all of us in my daily life with conviction and grace. Guide me to see these opportunities and to capitalize on them. Amen
~ Eric Gerken | Director of Family & Youth Ministries
BTW- Confirmation class is just starting. If you have or know a 6th grader or older youth who is not confirmed, we would love to have them join the class! It meets from 10:00-10:45 each Sunday in the upstairs classroom of the Family Life Center. CLICK HERE you can register the student!
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