We’re confirming seven of our young people during worship this coming Sunday. I’ve taught confirmation every year I’ve been in the ministry (that’s twenty-three years this June). Every time I do this, memories of past classes and students come to mind.
This year is a little different, with one of my own children in the class (the last one, our youngest, Olivia). It’s also the largest we’ve had at Shepherd of the Coast since I’ve been here. Now that I’ve been around for a while, I am confirming some of the children I baptized years ago. It’s powerful to see how they’ve grown, and how our relationship has developed over the years.
I’ve picked out their Bible verses and prepared their certificates for Sunday. I’ve gotten to know each one well enough that passages just pop into my head as I think of them. That relationship is the most important product of confirmation, I think. They may only remember a small fraction of what they’ve learned over the last two years, but hopefully, their relationship with God will continue, as well as their relationship with me.
Confirmation instruction most frequently occurs during seventh and eighth grades. I enjoy teaching middle school, because most of them want to learn. They’ve got a million questions. It’s tough to get them to do work outside of class, but it’s easy to get them talking about various topics.
For me, confirmation is a powerful reminder of the Holy Spirit at work, calling, enlightening, sanctifying, and keeping us in true faith.