This Sunday our Bishop, Susan Goff, will lead us in celebration of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.
I ask your prayers for those who have decided to make their confirmation and for those who have decided not to make their confirmation. I am persuaded that in every case it is a commitment to seeking the truth that motivates the decision.
I also ask your prayers of thanksgiving for our J2A and Rite 13 mentors and parents, who are a little like active duty military. They bear personally the responsibility that belongs to all of us. And let’s remember, that responsibility is not to make good Christians of our young people. It is to care for our young people as they explore the meaning and practice of Christian life. It is work that belongs to all of us.
Our J2A program, like all our life as Christians, is organized around a commitment to seek the truth together. Confirmation does not mark the end of that commitment or that search. It does mark a moment when the search for truth intersects with a willingness to take responsibility for the vows made on our behalf at Baptism.
Confirmation doesn’t make us better people. Hopefully Confirmation means we can take some responsibility for ourselves – how and where to get fed, some exercises to keep us fit, how to clean ourselves when we get dirty, how to make friends, the way to the hospital, and who to call when we get sick.
A word about those whose search for truth leads them not to take up responsibility for Baptismal vows. Refusing to make Confirmation does not make anyone less of a child of God, less of a Christian or less responsible continually seeking truth. And it doesn’t imply anything about mentors or parents. Sometimes the search for truth takes us away from the Church. And often for good reason. Be assured, the Church always needs the insight and critique of those who stand outside of the Church. Sometimes the Church’s best friends are not believers. But they are still lovers. And be assured, there is no second-tier status in the human family. The Gospel is that God loves and seeks a home with all people.
For all of us I pray the same thing - that God will never stop trying to open our eyes to the truth and the love that is always before our noses, to Jesus who is always shining light on the way. And I pray that in the day of trouble we will have the grace to remember the way to the Church, and the Church will be what it should be in that day, a community that welcomes, loves and helps everyone in the name of Christ.
The Reverend Tuck Bowerfind