We use the word “confirm” everyday when we are talking about appointments and dates of events. Most often this is to check that what we said before is still true, and that we are going to move forward. If both people “confirm” we are good to go, then we can see what is next. The idea behind “confirming” a date or event is to make sure the plans we’ve made will work out.
For a long time, Fridays have been like this for me. Ever since the beginning of my ministry, Fridays have been my off day. They are a day when I care for my kids, my family, and myself all at the same time. Since I’m off, I have the kids at home with me, so every plan I make for this day I have to juggle with the kids. For this reason some of the Costco workers know my kids. They have seen them come with me on Fridays for a long time. The gym childcare team knows my kids too (and asked me few weeks ago where I have been.) Confirming Friday plans with with me is challenging. First, my kids need to be able to come, and second, it needs to be flexible. The event or activity can’t depend on me being there, because with kids, all plans are subject to to change. Now that 2 of my kids will have school 5 days a week, it is kind of odd. It was hard to say goodbye to Jacob at the beginning of this school year since he has been with me on Fridays since he was a baby. Next year, it will only be the girls hanging with me on Fridays, as Gavin will be starting Kindergarten. That gives me just a couple Fridays left with him in this school year. The fall will be another adjustment.
The disciples had to change their schedules and lives when they followed Jesus. Their normal days now became a new journey every morning they woke up. It was probably hard in those days to confirm what was next and when they could meet up with family or friends. While dealing with life changes had to be hard, there had to be many moments of seeing the great benefits of being with Jesus every day. Now with Jesus gone, it was time to confirm that this was going to be their new lifestyle for good. They proclaimed that on the day of Pentecost. Guided by the gift of the Holy Spirit, the disciples began to teach and preach the change in their lives and how it could be a great change in the lives of others as well.
This week is not only Pentecost, but Confirmation Sunday at Mt. Calvary. Beginning Confirmation classes here often changes your routine of going to church. Our classes are held at 9 am on Sundays, the same time as the first service. We expect a parent to attend Confirmation Class with the child, and that they both will be there every week. For many families, this requires a change in their church pattern. It takes a commitment, maybe not the same it took the disciples to follow Jesus for 3 years, but certainly it is a commitment. They are learning the very theological themes they have been taught in Sunday School, but going much deeper. Confirmation Sunday, like Pentecost, is the day when the change of schedule is gone, and now the confirmand stands up and confirms what he or she has been taught. This young person makes a commitment to live faithful to the Word of God and the doctrinal teachings of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is a big step and one to be celebrated!
Confirmation is much more than just a casual confirming of an appointment, which is usually a one-time thing. Because it is something we traditionally see in the church every year, we can fall into the trap of thinking of it casually, just like confirming an appointment. But with Confirmation, the youth are confirming a lifetime commitment. We are asking the youth to truly commit to a life of following Jesus. This is not a day to just confirm, but to proudly confess what we teach and preach in our church body. At Pentecost, the disciples were also confirming their lifetime commitment, and the teaching and work of Christ in them.