16 For I am not a six shamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 ESV
In many Lutheran churches during this time of year Confirmation is being celebrated. I look back to an April many years ago when I was confirmed. Like with many of us it was a big celebration as it coincided with Palm Sunday. We were all dressed in our robes. In the early service we were questioned on the catechism and our faith. In the second service the Rite of Confirmation took place. I remember it being a very nervous day. As the pastor least his hand on my head and confirmed me, then he read my Confirmation Verse, Romans 1:16. On Maundy Thursday I received the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time. We went home that Sunday and there was a big party with gifts. My baptismal sponsors were there.
It was a great day for I remember getting my own Lutheran Hymnal with my name and date on it. I received a Thompson Chain Reference Bible which I use for many years. I was also given a portable typewriter for those numerous papers I would write in high school and college. The next year I would be attending Concordia High School in St. Paul, Minnesota to begin my studies for the Lutheran Ministry. This day was like a graduation, for I had completed my rigorous confirmation classes. Boy, was I wrong, for I was just beginning.
What was your Confirmation like? Take some time and ponder it. Do you remember your Confirmation Verse? What was the day like for you? Did you feel like you have finished your studies and that was all that you needed?
Little did we know that we were just beginning our life as a Christian in this world. Our life is a continual study in how we should live and tell the world about the one and only true God. Yes, over the years I have struggled to live as a Christian should. I have often gone back, remembering the many verses I memorized as the Holy Spirit led me to be holy. Many times I have fallen down from the vows I made at confirmation. My gracious God has forgiven me and built me up. If it were not for his suffering and death on the cross, I would have no hope!
What is confirmation? Is it graduation or preparation? If we think about it, we have been preparing since our baptism and will continue to prepare until the day our Lord calls us to our salvation. It is only through Christ that we have been redeemed. We go forward each day as the children of God, trusting in his grace and mercy telling the world of what the one and only true God has done for them. We have been made righteous through God’s work in us.
Walk each day in the light of Christ, sharing Him with the world, as you continue to prepare through the Holy Spirit for the coming of the Lord.