Yesterday we had the gift of receiving our confirmands into this congregation’s membership. As we begin this week, I invite us to take a moment, pausing to reflect and give thanks.
We give thanks to God for the Spirit’s movement in our youth, for their desire to learn more about God and for their work and dedication this past few months.
We give thanks to God for this congregation. For families, teachers, and all who help shape and mold children and youth, either through their direct work or through striving to live as a faithful disciple.
The Psalmist writes:
“I will exalt you, O God my King,
and bless your Name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless you
and praise Your Name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;
there is no end to his greatness.
One generation shall praise your works to another
and shall declare your power.” (Psalm 145:1-4)
It is our gift and joy to praise God. And, it is our gift and joy to share these praises and to declare God’s power with the generations, to share the knowledge of God’s work – through creation, the covenant with the people of Israel, and in a new way through Christ. I invite you to reflect this week on those who shaped and molded your faith. Perhaps it was through their words or perhaps through the way they chose to live, their lives an offering to God.
And, just as the confirmands answered questions as to what they believe, we are reminded of the days when we may have answered these or similar questions. We are reminded of our Baptismal vows. As we prepare for Holy Week, for the remembrance of Christ’s death and the celebration of his resurrection, I invite us to reflect on our Baptisms. Because of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection, as we are baptized, we are cleansed from sin, we are grafted into the Body of Christ, and we are made citizens of God’s kingdom. We are called to exalt our Lord, to bless God’s Name, and to share these praises from one generation to another.
We give God thanks for the waters of Baptism through which God continues to cleanse and claim us as God’s children. Let us be joyful this week for our newest members and for our great cloud of witnesses.