Friday, April 4, 2014
This Sunday, Faith’s 7th-9th grade confirmation students will be offering their gifts in worship at the 10:00 service. Through an aspect of the confirmation program we call FaithFusion, the students have been preparing all semester to lead the congregation in worship through various forms of music as well as drama, art, and puppeteering. At the core, our hope is to bring the message of the lectionary scripture texts to life, and to send the congregation “out” with renewed sense of the gift of grace.
Luckily for us, this week’s lectionary texts are utterly saturated with grace. From the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of dry bones transformed into flesh and blood through God’s life-giving spirit, to the apostle Paul’s reminder that the God who raised Christ from the dead also dwells within us, to the intimate story of Jesus mourning the death of and ultimately resurrecting his friend Lazarus—each text testifies, in a different way, to the good news of grace found in the heart of the promise of resurrection.
Confirmation itself is, in many ways, an exploration of and living into this promise, which is beautifully articulated in the various liturgies surrounding baptism. On May 3, the 9th grade class will be confirmed by means of a liturgical rite known as an Affirmation of Baptism. Like countless others before them, these students will be asked before the assembly whether they “intend to continue in the covenant God made with [them] in holy baptism.” Then students are reminded—we all are, really—exactly what that covenant entails: “To live among God's faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord's supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.”
We recognize that not everyone will be at the 10:00 service on Sunday, but if you are, we hope that you are renewed by witnessing our youth live into the promise of baptism by offering their gifts as those who “live among God's faithful people.” And even more, we hope you are renewed by the very witness of the message itself, as the confirmation students “proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed.”