I’ve been meaning to write about my circuit-riding life for a while. So many events passing by in the lives of three congregations. Lots of driving, lot’s of memorable things to talk about. But the press of time does not always allow.
This one, though, could not go by without comment. It’s not my first confirmation in my new congregations. But it is the first time I’ve instructed and confirmed: Monday mornings (Summer) and evenings (Fall) for classes; crazy memory work schedules and reading assignments; three (or has it been four) different pastors conducting various parts of the instruction. It hasn’t always been what we in the pastor-business call “ideal”.
But here we are. Children about to be admitted to the altar mid-Advent. That’s a first for me too. Writing a confirmation sermon with John in prison instead of Jesus making a triumphal entry. Wacky – but actually a lot easier. Really matches with the theme of confessing the faith, even (and especially) under duress. I won’t give away too much, because I want to save something for people who come on Sunday.
But the strangest part is picking confirmation verses. Not sure why doing that at this season seems so much odder than all the other parts of this. But it does. Spring is the time to pick confirmation verses. But here we are.
Anyway, the point of confirming is not the pastor and his triumphant teaching, nor the catechumens (now confirmands) and their hard work to achieve mastery of the material. The purpose is, as always, our Lord whom we confess, and his body and blood, that is offered to these young Christians for the first time for the forgiveness of their sins, the life of their bodies and souls and for their salvation. That’s worth celebrating, and it’s worth taking a few minutes of my time to note publicly.
And, so noted, back I go into my Christmas preparation.