Most of us do NOT like speaking in public. Most of us do NOT feel comfortable talking about our faith—especially to a large group of people. Yet this is exactly what these nine amazing young people did at Good Shepherd last night. Each of the students bravely and openly shared stories of their faith journey.
All I can say is WOW! You inspire, teach, challenge, and lead the rest of us with your honesty, humor, perseverance, questions, and joy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
On Sunday they will stand before the congregation and say, yes I believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yes, I will walk in faith throughout my whole life. Yes, I will use my gifts to serve the world. Yes, I know that I am a beloved child of God. Then we as a congregation will promise to walk with them in faith and to use our gifts to serve with them in this world so loved by God.
Our Gospel for Sunday from John 21. After Jesus’ resurrection he appears to his disciples when they are out fishing. Jesus calls them back to shore. Over breakfast on the beach Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” Jesus asks this three times. Peter responds “Yes, Lord” each time.
What a great scripture for Confirmation Sunday! The service is a chance for the students to respond to Jesus’ question “Do you love me?” You may remember that Peter was far from perfect. He even denied that he knew Jesus. Yet here Jesus gives Peter a chance to affirm that Peter not only knows Jesus, he also loves Jesus.
Our Confirmation students will affirm that they know and love Jesus. No, they are not perfect—none of us are. God’s love comes first. Because we are loved by God, we can respond, “Yes Lord I love you too!”
And that is only the beginning of the story. Peter is sent out by Jesus to “Feed my sheep.” The confirmands and all of us are sent out to use our gifts to serve each other and all of creation. The Holy Spirit leads and guides us for we are Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.