Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fresh Start for Confirmation

As we move forward and May 5th quickly approaches, I thought I'd explain why confirmation is so important.

Confirmation fulfills Matthew 28:19-20. The Lord commanded us to baptize and teach, not just baptize. As we raise our children, Our Savior offers the teaching portion through the Divine Services, bible studies, Sunday School, VBS, youth program, our grade school, and confirmation.

Confirmation is a summary of everything your children have been taught since their baptisms. In their baptisms they received their faith, forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Since then, the Lord has been preparing them to join in with all believers in the Feast of Victory, the Lord’s Supper.Your children are growing up. They are on their way.

Of course, there is a place and time for fun and silliness. Those of you who know me, know how much I enjoy being silly. But then, there is a time to grow up and take seriously our actions and their consequences. The same goes for our Christian faith and life in the Church.

My objective with our confirmands is to teach them God's Word and help you help them to grow up to be faithful Lutherans. Just as all of our education gives us the tools and information into which we grow, so it is with our Christianity. What they will learn is what Christ taught us and commands us parents (I have two children) to hand down to our children.

Will they "understand" everything? Of course not.

However, they will learn a lot. Just as we didn't fully understand why 2+2 = 4 was so important until we got our first paycheck, so too, do we continue to grow and learn how important our repentance and being forgiven is. 
What confirmation does is summarize what it means to be a Christian and participate in the holy gifts of God, the sacraments.

The Word, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper become more and more meaningful and "understandable" with every crisis, every tribulation, every moment of suffering that we all face.

As parents we are preparing our children so that we can let them go and learn the easy and hard lessons in life. As Christian parents, we want them to learn that when they sin, God's grace and mercy brings to them the forgiveness for their sins through faith in Christ. That is the Christian life.

Our children will not automatically grow up when they get confirmed. But they will certainly know that they are members of the Bride of Christ, whose Groom always forgives them and continually calls them home to church every week. And they will certainly know what Church is and what Church isn't.

We all continue to "grow up" until we reach our full maturity in heaven. Then we will be completely "grown up."

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Sell
Mt. 28:19-20

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