On May 12th we have plans to confirm two young disciples. Samer and Brady will stand before the congregation who helped raise and grow them and not only answer a few questions, but make vows. This year’s confirmation class has focused on exegeting these vows of membership so they might not only be understood, but stand as firm foundational platforms for what will be a lifelong journey of membership. As I have taught the class, I have had the opportunity to reflect again on just how much meaning is behind each of these questions. If you are a member of a Presbyterian church you have answered these questions in one way or another. View with me these questions as an aspect of your Spiritual formation. I have emboldened some of the key words we focused on.
~Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, do you turn from the ways of sin and renounce evil and its power in the world?
~How do we know we can trust God? We know because of God’s covenantal love and faithfulness. God has shown himself throughout the journey of scripture and throughout our lives. Grace and mercy are core characteristics of the Triune God. It is because of God’s loving mercy and gift of grace that we are given salvation and have life. Once we have realized this amazing gift we choose to turn or repent from sin and boldly renounce evil in the world. We agree that sin does hold power, but Jesus holds the ultimate power. Understanding this question leads us to say “We Do!”
~Who is your Lord and Savior?
~Saying that “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior” is the statement of a lifetime. It means that Jesus was not just a person but is the personal Lord and Savior of all. There is no other. The term “Christ” is not a last name (as I joke) but a title. It means that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Chosen One, the Son of God.
~Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple obeying his word and showing his love?
~What is it to be a disciple? A disciple is a follower, one who watches, listens, and leans in to try their hardest to be like their teacher or rabbi. How do we follow Jesus Christ? We do it by obeying his word—that which is written in scripture. We do it by showing his love, by creating community and working for the betterment of the world. Understanding this question leads us to say “We Will!”
~Will you devote yourself to the church’s teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers?
~This vow comes from Act 2. It is a line from scripture that describes essentially what it meant and still means to be in the life of the church. What is devotion? It is a decision that is made to make something an essential and core piece of my life. Devoting ourselves to the church’s teaching means that we are students. Devoting ourselves to fellowship means that we work to bind ourselves together with the community. Devoting ourselves to the breaking of bread means that not only the sacrament, but the shared meal is important. Devoting ourselves to the prayers means that we will commit ourselves to doing just that. Understanding this question leads us to say “We Will