On Sunday, June 9, we will confirm and accept into our church several youth. You may remember your confirmation class. Confirmation in the UMC follows a pattern where sometime during adolescence, youth meet with other youth, some adult leaders, and their pastor or youth pastor. They may gather weekly in the church basement, during a youth Sunday school class, or maybe for a weekend retreat at a campground. When the classes are complete, the confirmands stand before their congregation, where the pastor and others put their hands on them and a blessing is said. Many times a lunch follows confirmation and newly confirmed members of the church receive a gift. At some UMCs they receive offering envelopes.
Confirmation is not a sacrament in the UMC, but it is an important marker along a person’s spiritual journey. At baptism (which is a sacrament in the UMC), we are initiated into the new covenant in Jesus Christ and membership in the Church, Christ’s body in the world. For many, this happens when they are babies.
Just as we don’t expect young children in our families to do tasks that are beyond their age or capability. The United Methodist Church’s official statement on baptism, By Water and the Spirit, teaches that, “baptized infants are members of the Church—the family of faith—but are not yet capable of sharing everything involved in membership,”
Confirmation is an opportunity to respond to the grace of God available to us, as acknowledged in baptism, and to promise to take on the work of living as a person of faith. “What God offers us must be accepted in repentance and faith,” This Is Your Baptismal Liturgy states. “Confirmation and reaffirmation are our responses of commitment, profession of faith, and rededication.”
Questions To Think About On Your Own Or Discuss With Your Family Or A Friend
1. Remember your Confirmation experience. What did you enjoy most?
2. When were you confirmed?
3. Did you have a special part in Confirmation Service?
4. Have you been to a Confirmation service at another church?
5. Find out when you and other members of your family were confirmed and celebrate with a special dinner.
When we pray Psalm 8, we are reminded of the vastness of the
heavens and the smallness of human beings (8:3-4). John Wesley wrote, “If we consider boundless space or boundless duration, we shrink into nothing before it...whenever you are tempted to fear lest you be forgotten before the immense, the eternal God, remember that nothing is little or great, that no duration is long or short before him (Sermon 54: “On Eternity” ¶ 20). You can read the Psalms this week at biblegateway.com
Praying the Psalms
Every day we are showered with information. Some of it we don’t need, some of it we use and dismiss, and some of it can prove helpful for the present and future (the long haul.) Reading a devotion each day can provide for the present and the future. It can ground us in faith and help us grow as followers of Christ. It can challenge, enlighten, and provide encouragement for our life. You might consider reading this brief (two minutes tops) devotion from the UCC.