What were you thinking about when you were 13 or 14? The answer is, of course, that you were thinking about a whole lot of stuff. It is a point in our lives when we are no longer children, but are not yet fully adults. It is when we start to realize that there is a whole big world out there full of wonderful but also terrifying things. It is a time when we start to consider for ourselves what has value and what is worth being committed to. When you think back to that time in your life, you may think that you were young and naïve, but you are still affected by some of the decisions you made back then.
If you study the Bible, you realize that God used a number of young people, probably not more than 13 or 14. Joseph was probably around that age when his brothers sold him off into slavery. Miriam, Moses’ sister, watched over her baby brother and ensured that he was rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter. David was a young teenager when he killed the giant. A nameless teenage slave girl was bold enough to tell her mistress about the man of God, Elisha, and as a result Naaman was cured of leprosy. Jeremiah was a teenager when God called him to be a prophet. Mary was maybe 13 or 14 when the angel Gabriel visited her and told her that she had been chosen to be the mother of God’s Son. So it is clear that while our society may discount young teenagers as immature and unsophisticated God takes them very seriously.
On Sunday, at the first service, the confirmation class will be welcomed into full membership of our congregation. It is a small class this year, only three members. But I have really enjoyed getting to know them over the months as we worked together in class. I listened to their statements of faith and was moved by their insight and understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
Two out of the three members of the class will be baptized, so the order of worship will be a little different. We thought it would be appropriate for the first thing they do after being baptized is to receive the sacrament of Communion. So I know it might seem a bit unusual, but I think it will be meaningful to all. The Chancel Choir is singing, and we have some children playing the piano. I will be preaching on Psalm 148, which is a wonderful song of praise that unites us all with God’s creation. My sermon title is “What Moves Your Rock?” There will be a reception for the young people following the first service, so if you usually come to the second service, maybe you could come earlier and meet these fine young members of our congregation.
Stay in One Peace,