WE ARE A CONFIRMING CONGREGATION
There is no requirement in Scripture for people to be confirmed. The Rite of Confirmation was invented by the church to fulfill its commitment made to families upon baptism.
When a child is baptized the pastor turns to the parents, witnesses AND THE CONGREGATION and says:
Our Lord commands that we teach his precious truths to all who are baptized. Christian love therefore urges all of us, especially parents and sponsors, to assist in whatever manner possible so that ____ may remain a child of God until death. If you are willing to carry out this responsibility, then answer: Yes, as God gives me strength.
With confirmation class instruction we are one “spoke” in the spiritual instruction trajectory of children. We do not replace parents. We do not usurp parents. Rather, we work with parents to instruct children in the basics of the Christian faith.
We tie this instruction to receiving the Lord’s Supper because Scripture warns that we are not to eat or drink the Supper “to our own judgment” (1 Corinthians 11:29). Through class attendance, participation, effort made in memorizing Scripture, and observing the attitude of each student, the pastor with the parents make an assessment of the student’s spiritual maturity. The end goal is to reach the same conclusion, that this student can receive the Sacrament in a worthy manner.
On Sunday, May 6, we pass a milestone in the lives of eight more students by confirming them into the Christian faith and onto a new level of membership in our congregation. From that day forward they are permitted to receive the Lord’s Supper.
Every day the devil, the world, and our own flesh try to knock us out of God’s family. Confirmation does not change the sad reality that our sinful natures continue to be hostile to God.
As parents we cannot stop the instruction of our children. As confirmands, we would be wrong to see this as the end of spiritual instruction. And as a congregation, we would be negligent to not continue offering programs of instruction and opportunities to grow not only for our children but for our new confirmands, recent confirmands, and all adults.
Let the confirming of another class serve as a reminder to all of us that as a congregation, our work is not done. We continue assisting families and individuals in providing avenues for spiritual growth in our lifelong service to our Lord and Savior.
To His glory,
~ Pastor Robert Fleischmann
Because I live, you also will live. ~ John 14:19