Wednesday night classes have started for 7th and 8th graders; on October 25 we celebrate the Rite of Confirmation for three of our young people. So again this fall I find myself asking: Who is being confirmed? Who is doing the confirming? What is really being confirmed?
Because when I was in confirmation class, the day we were confirmed was also the first time we were welcomed to the Lord’s Supper, it seemed like those Wednesday night classes were the “price to pay” and Holy Communion our “reward.” Whether intended or not, I thought my confirmation had to do with me confirming I knew enough answers and believed enough correctly so as to be “admitted.” And the pastor “confirmed that” about me and my classmates to the congregation.
But as I’ve matured, personally and spiritually (is there a distinction? If there is, should there be?), I more and more think that confirmation is primarily God’s work. That is, God confirms the love and forgiveness, and his very presence in our lives that God promised us in baptism. Classes and quizzes, camps and youth trips are not for the purpose of earning more, but learning more about who we are, and who our God is.
In a most profound sense, every Sunday should be a confirmation–God’s confirmation of God’s love for each of us. And with that there is also God’s confirmation that what God wants is for us to love each other and care for God’s world in ways that reflect God’s own love and care.
It’s true that October 25 we will ask three young people to confirm publicly whether or not they believe that and will try to take it seriously.
Truth be told, now it seems to me that is a question–in the light of God’s steadfast confirmation of everyone of his daughters and sons–that each of us has opportunity to answer daily.