Friday, May 1, 2015
This weekend we confirm 22 of our young people.
After three years of Wednesday night classes, worksheets, small group conversations, retreats, service projects, fellowship activities, worship participation, worship reflections…
…three years of parents keeping track of calendars, checklists, emails, and sign-ups, picking up and dropping off, nagging and sometimes dragging their youth against their will…
we must ask the question, “So what?”
So what was this all for?
So what does this all mean?
So what was the point of it all?
The “so what” of all this time and effort
is not the public profession of faith
in this Saturday’s worship service.
It is not the photo ops, or a cake with a cross on it, or dinner with the out of town family.
The “so what” is not even the friendships or new relationships that formed over the course of these three years.
Affirmation of baptism (and baptism) is a right of passage—that is, a passage that lead us through and on to something else.
This right of passage leads beyond this moment and farther on to the “so what.”
And that “so what” also happens to be the “so what” of our gospel lesson this week:
That you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
The connections to the community, the scriptures, the worship, and the Son that were strengthened over those three years, the relationships that were formed, all of it is for the purpose of bearing the fruit of discipleship.
We are baptized, nurtured, prepared, and sent so that we might bear fruit for a world that hungers.
The world hungers for reconciliation and justice—and not just in Baltimore.
The world hungers for food, shelter, and medicine—and not just in Nepal.
All around us the world hungers for the compassion, the welcome, the self-sacrifice, the salvation, the grace, the truth that is made flesh in the person of Jesus.
And so, we are called to abide in him, reaching out as an extension of the true vine, reaching out toward the hungry world, bearing the fruit so desperately needed.
May our young people continue to abide in Jesus, and may the rest us be right there with them.