What Are We Confirming?
Have you ever researched something so much that you become an expert in the theory of an activity? That was me and snowboarding back in February. I watched HOURS worth of YouTube videos of how to snowboard. I learned from the experts, professional coaches and competitors. I had all of the theory down, I could tell you the how and why of snowboarding, what to do in different situations, how to get off of the lift. I knew it all.
Then I went to Loveland. It was a quick lesson that I knew nothing.
I knew all about the theory, but I had no idea how to physically do it. I know about the practice, but not the doing.
Fortunately, I went with someone who was patient with my inability to stay up. I kept falling, but I also kept getting up. Then I’d stay up even further down the mountain, fall, get up, go again. I got frustrated with myself, misquoted Apostle Paul, “The things I want to do, I don’t, and what I don’t want to do I do… I want to stand, but I keep falling.” (You can ask Keith, it was quite the sight to see, especially since I was completely decked out in bright orange.) It was all about moving past the theory and into the practice. I started using the little I knew and slowly got better at the practice.
Where else have you done something like this; learn all of the theory, but never any of the practice?
A pastor friend of mine called Confirmation a “theological learner’s permit” where we have just enough knowledge and a tiny bit of experience to really hurt ourselves. It doesn’t take much to fall, but more to get back up.
During the Rite of Confirmation, we confirm the faith we received in baptism. We don’t do it for others, after all, I can’t believe for you. As much as Keith wanted me to stand, he couldn’t do it for me. I had to stand, balance and stay that way during the entire ride.
This is one of the many challenges that parents, Pastors, DCEs and other church workers have when it comes to the education. We can teach you all that we know, we can share all about God’s love, His faithfulness and kindness to us despite our rebellion, but we can’t believe for you. We can just remind you about your baptism. When we remember our baptism, we remember what we believe. Our God is the maker of everything, His Son Jesus redeemed us and paid the price for our rebellion, and the Holy Spirit calls us and makes us holy. We are reminded that our sins are forgiven, and so are the sins of the entire body of Christ. We fall, come to church, hear the good news of Jesus preached and go out into the world to live out our faith.
Now that we have the knowledge, put it into practice. Keep reading God’s Word, share YOUR faith with those around you, keep learning. Remember your baptism and rest in the hope of the resurrection that our Savior promised. Fall, be comforted, get back up.
Director of NexGen Ministries