Friday, February 22, 2013
Confirmation devotion: Confirming the Covenant - Exodus 24:7
Exodus 24:7 Then Moses took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey."
I love the aspect of Confirmation that takes place in Exodus 24. God has provided for the people through the blessings of deliverance, sustenance, and providence. They are beginning a new journey in the history of God’s people – a journey that will lead them eventually to the Promised Land. Moses has brought the Law to the people and given them beautiful rites in order to serve and worship God. It’s an historic time in the lives of the Jewish people. It’s a deeply significant and highly spiritual moment for the whole community.
In the Presbyterian Church, Confirmation is the sealing of a beautiful process which begins with baptism. Years before Confirmation, parents bring their beloved child before God to be baptized before the holy community and make promises to bring up that child in the Christian faith. More than a decade later, usually around their first Senior High year, that same child confirms the promises which were made by her or his parents. It’s a beautiful sealing of a sacred and solemn ceremony. It’s a time of God’s grace and goodness upon the child.
The start of Senior High is a major and daunting step in the life of any young person. There are many new challenges and changes to experience; there are some exciting times ahead and new responsibilities to encounter. In the midst of all of these social, cultural, peer, and educational changes, it’s wonderful to celebrate a deep spiritual rite which allows the child of God to become a confident, blessed, and beloved young person in the Church. Like the Hebrew people of old in Moses time, it becomes a sealing of a special covenant. It’s also the start of a new journey, not just of schooling, physicality, and emotions, but one grounded in Christian faith.
Questions for personal reflection
When did I experience a time of Confirmation? How did that special moment bring me closer to God?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are always with us from the day we are born to the time after we die. Your presence guides and encourages us at any stage in life or rite of passage. We thank You for the sacred blessings and holy covenants of faith that are graciously given and spiritually sealed in our lives. In Your Holy Name, we cheerfully and thankfully pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to email@example.com.