30 years ago, my confirmation class was something to endure. I would go once a week with about a dozen other middle-schoolers to meet with the pastor and work, quietly and seriously, through a standard curriculum. My pastor was a very kind gentleman who would lead us through our workbooks and assignments. We endured this together for two years. I celebrated my confirmation day with cake and a sense of relief.
So, imagine my overwhelming delight and gratitude, when our confirmands at St. Tim’s this year asked if we could have a confirmation retreat. God is good!
While many factors contributed to this “ask” by our confirmands, I think Ephesians 2:11-22 points to one very important one: joy. Joy was simply not on my radar at confirmation. This faith thing was serious business. But, in our reading this Sunday, the writer of Ephesians is overjoyed at what God has done for the world in Christ Jesus. God in Christ has broken down every dividing wall between human beings and has shown us that everyone is loved by God. Everyone is welcome in the household of God! Hallelujah!
I am so grateful to be a part of a congregation that welcomes and encourages joy. We celebrate together what God has done in Christ not because we are naïve to the sufferings of the world, but because we know all suffering will finally come to an end in Jesus! Confirmation, then, is an investigation into what a life of joy means. How do we love and support one another? How do we participate in God’s vision for the world where every barrier between human beings is removed and God’s love is poured out abundantly for all?
Now you wanna come to confirmation, too, don’t you?
See you Sunday…