GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, IN WHOM WE LIVE, MOVE, AND HAVE OUR VERY BEING!
TEXT: Philippians 2:13: “For it is God who works in you to will and act accordingly to his good purpose.”
Dearly Beloved and Especially You Five Confirmands:
This has been a trying last 2 years. We’ve had the pandemic botching up our class time. We’ve had Zoom confirmation—a first for me. Yet you persisted, learned, and here we are today, despite the distractions.
In some respects you’ve all had to grow up quickly when it comes to life and to your faith. You all now know the tough issues to life a bit more personally.—Tough stuff that your parents have always tried to shield you from. Now you can directly relate to the tough times that some of the older folks here also went through—world war, the great depression, the polio epidemic, and general unease over the future of the world and your life in it. Confirmation is learning how God gets you through those scary times and the loneliness and depression that such sin brings. That’s why such religious training is invaluable—and as the years go by, you’ll learn anew just how invaluable it is!
Humans have 2 pathways they can follow. You can live your life by ignoring, and/or walking away from God; or you can walk with Him. Today is about you choosing to walk with Him. Most people view our faith as quaint, old-fashioned, and constricting. Those commandments seem to crimp our style. Examining the heart and being truly sorry for hurting God, others, and ourselves by our head-strong behavior is something no human enjoys doing. So most ignore their guilty conscience and do whatever they can to build up their ego and thereby feel stronger and more in control of their lives. But human beings are not God. All humans get sick, some lose their homes and possessions, and eventually everyone dies. Covid proves that. And then what?
Right now all of you are a bit apprehensive of your future. You don’t know the future of your health. You don’t know what you will be when you grow up—fully. You don’t know who you will meet and someday spend your life with. You don’t know whether you’ll be rich or poor, happy or sad, or fulfilled by your future. Ah, but as a Christian you do know! You all
will have a blest life if you continue to walk in Christ’s footsteps along the pathway He has in mind for you! “For it is God who works in you to will and to act accordingly to his good purpose.”
You’ve spent 2 years together learning what God’s good purpose is. It is learning that we cannot find true happiness apart from His love. That love is made crystal clear by Christ Who carried the burden of our yucky sins to the cross and died for them so that we could escape their eternal burden. It is about Him rising from the grave, your grave, so that you can and will experience heaven, life, joy that has no end. It is about discovering the amazing potential that He has put into each of you by the Spirit when you were baptized. Don’t you think our Maker knows far more about our lives than we do? Don’t you think He knows exactly how to make us happy and provide true meaning and purpose for our lives? Here St. Paul gives us God’s promise for a good purpose, not a bad one or an evil one, when it comes to each of us.
My confirmation class numbered 13. A few are now dead. A few are wayward, they feel lost because they gave up on God and walked away from Christ. I’m pretty sure one is in hell—so sad. But others are blest by God, by His grace act like it, and now possess the joy of knowing that they are right with God and always will be. This is the legacy, our Savior’s legacy to each of you, today. Amen
THE PEACE OF GOD….
Pastor Thomas H. Fox