Confirmation Sermon on Reformation Sunday

October 28, 2018


Here we are, the day in which you will publicly claim your faith by affirming your baptism.

In the eyes of the church this is an important day, for today you become adult members of this congregation and are given the rights and responsibilities of a Christian adult.  Today, I encourage you to start to explore and seek out the freedom of a Christian.  Yet first you might need to ask, “What does all of this mean for me?”

Well let me tell you my story.  I was confirmed on May 19, 1985 at Trinity Lutheran Church of Minnehaha Falls.  For me too it was the culmination, the end of three years of learning.  I too stood before the congregation, as you all will do in a few minutes, and professed ‘my’ faith and ‘my’ desire to continue in relationship with Jesus and his people, the church.  After photos and a cake reception, I took off my white robe and asked myself, “Okay, what next?”

Well it’s only in looking back that I can really start to see what my Confirmation meant for my life.

My confirmation years were done, but this new part of my journey with God had just begun.  It took a little while to realize my years of learning in Confirmation, were part of my foundation from which I could explore my faith and freedom in Christ in new ways.  This exploration led me to get involved in a number of new things, in church and in the world.

At church that meant primarily the youth group.  Now, I went to a large church, which had always had youth directors, except for my sophomore year.  That year a group of us took on the leadership of the youth group, and we planned everything from retreats up at camp, to discussions on God and dating, to Friday nights having scavenger hunts by car around the city. Within those next years I traveled twice with the youth group to a Mexican orphanage. Those trips changed my reality.  Hopefully, our youth group trip to Paris this next weekend, for the youth conference will change yours too!

The youth group was the place where not only did I have fun, but I was challenged to look at my beliefs and to find ways to live them out in my life.

But my faith didn’t only exist within the life of the church, if anything I ran into the challenges of belief and faith more in my life at school, on sports teams and with my friends.  Some of my friends went to church and some didn’t, but with them all at different times I was challenged in ways that either forced me to question my faith, or to have to live up to it.

For instance why was my friend Rene killed in an accident on her boyfriend’s motorcycle?  She didn’t do anything wrong, why did she die!  Or, should I take a stand for the younger kid being ridiculed for praying before a performance of the yearly high school musical?  These were struggles to understand how my faith fit into my life.

What did it mean for me, in my life and relationships to have faith that Jesus had freed me from the power of sin?  Was this freedom as a Christian to do whatever I wanted?  Was it freedom to do what God called me to do?  What did it mean?

Today, is also Reformation Day when we remember Martin Luther and how his teachings changed the way that we understand our Christian faith.  As part of Luther’s attempts to reform the teachings of the Roman Catholic church, he wrote a letter to Pope Leo entitled, “The Freedom of the Christian Man.”

In the letter Luther describes the freedom a Christian receives through faith.  Because of his faith in Christ, the believer is “A free lord, subject to no one.  The Christian who is loved by God wants to return that love, so he willingly becomes “the most dutiful servant of all and subject to everyone.”

In other words then, as you begin your adult journey as a Christian, starting here today, you are given the freedom in your faith to try and live your life as the person whom God has created you to be, knowing full well that God’s presence in the Holy Spirit will walk with you, wanting to lead you in your decisions every day.  As Jesus in his grace forgives you for your sins and fills you with his love, you are called by God to live out his love through your life.

Okay, so what does this mean?  What does this mean for each of you as you live your life each day; at school, with your family and friends and out there in the world?

Well for starters, if you’re going to have a relationship with Jesus you need to talk to him more, and get to know him deeper.  So, I encourage you to create in your life, if you haven’t already, the everyday habits of prayer and reading your Bible.  In these ways your relationship with Jesus becomes a part of your daily life.  In your prayers you can ask Jesus each day to lead you and use you to be a blessing, and through prayer, you can ask for God to help other people who might be sick, lonely or in need of his presence.  Reading the Bible will provide you with guidance, strength and knowledge of who Jesus is.

God’s love will also shine through your life in how you act and react to other people, be them your family or friends, classmates or teammates, or some stranger you interact with out in the world.  Remember how I have taught and pointed out how Jesus commands us to love other people as we want to be loved?  Well, a big part of loving other people happens, or doesn’t, in our daily lives at home, at school, on the athletic field, in the store and hanging out with our friends.  You get to choose what you say and how you say it.  You get to pick whether you turn your back and walk away, or reach out a hand and help.  You are able to stand up and speak for what is right, or stay seated and be silent.

How we live each day, is how we will live our lives.  If you open up to Jesus walking with you each day, you open up to Jesus walking with you for your life…what a cool life that will be.

Remember, Jesus loves you, he wants to forgive you and give you a new start each day, and he wants to share each day with you and help you to be the person you are created to be.  I love you too, so do the people of this church, we’re here for you, and want you to be a part of our ministry of God’s love to the world.



Bible References

  • Romans 3:19 - 28
  • John 8:31 - 36



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