A Note from Pastor Bill- Reflecting Back

In part of the rite of Confirmation, the confirmand’s vows say: “Do you intend to hear the Word of God and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully?   Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed to remain true to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, even to death?   Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?” 

How should they answer?  How are we doing?  Do you believe confirmands are fulfilling these vows to our Lord and the Church?  

Statistics prove we are not doing so well.  80% of those confirmed in the LCMS by the time they graduate from high school will no longer go to church.  And eventually 1/2 to 2/3 of those remaining become unchurched.  Several years ago Timothy had a confirmation class of ten students.   By the time high school ended 50% of them were attending church or youth group.  Better, but still not acceptable. Studies show that parents today are following the same pattern of our newly confirmand.  I don’t have the time to attend worship. Worship isn’t that important.

It is therefore necessary to pray to God and ask that these vows said by our confirmands -“I do here and now promise to fulfill these vows by the grace of God”- are made alive for our young people.

Perhaps we, as the Church, need to do a better job of telling how we are alive by the grace of God. We need to share what the Easter story is doing to us.  In the early church when Paul would come back to visit a congregation, they would share with him one by one the great things God was doing.  How God’s grace was building them up through the risen Christ.  That God was making them alive to help the weak.  He was giving to them in ways they never thought possible.  They were sharing with each other all things in the name of the risen Christ.

Please share with our confirmands on this Easter Sunday, next week, in the months to come how you rejoice in the gifts God brings to you through the risen Christ.  He who has begun a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Amen.                                                                                                                                                        Pastor Bill