Monday, December 15, 2014

Third Sunday of Advent (B) 2014 Confirmation

+ In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti + Amen.

Text: Col 3:17, John 8:12, 1 Tim 6:12, Rev 2:10
Theme: Primary Promises

Dear friends in Christ Jesus,

Dear candidates for confirmation; Brailey, Shenay, Ethan, and Luke,

In a few moments you will each be asked a series of questions and the first one you will be asked to respond to is this: “Do you this day in the presence of God and of this congregation acknowledge the gifts which God gave you in your baptism?” The promise of your baptism is the starting point for this day of your confirmation. And it is also the ending point because you have been baptized into Christ’s death and His resurrection.

Today is a day about promises. Promises have fallen on hard times lately. If you get married one day you will make a promise to be faithful to your spouse. That is a serious promise. If you sign a contract for a job; that is a serious promise. If you take out a mortgage to purchase a house or property; that is a serious promise. If you join the military you will promise not to be insubordinate; that is a serious promise. Whenever these types of promises are broken there are severe consequences. But the type of promise you’re making today is really the most serious of all. You will be promising to remain faithful to God and the truth of His word even to the point of death. There are many important things in your life; family, friends, school, health, sport and many other activities, hopes and dreams, but your trust in the one true God and your life of faith surpasses them all.

If you take it seriously it will not be an easy promise to keep. Firstly, like all of us, all of you are sinners. That means you will constantly be tempted to think of yourself first and forget about what God says. Secondly, none of us know where life will take any of you, but we do know where Satan and the unbelieving world would like to take you: As far away from God’s word, His truth, His house, and His kingdom as possible. The devil has proven to be very effective at this in recent times. Thirdly, the world is filled with darkness. It is deep and sinister but it is often disguised in a way that appears attractive and appealing. Thankfully when we repent of our sins God promises to forgive us for Jesus’ sake.

The good news is God’s promise to us is bigger than all our failures. Christ did keep His promise even to the point of death. He went to the cross where He shed His blood for you. He overcame death and the grave for you. Crucified and risen He lives to intercede for you. He promises to never leave you or forsake you.

You cannot make God into someone or something else. As soon as you try to do so you have made an idol. But God can and has and will make/made you into someone else. The Holy Spirit gives you faith and as He grows you in that faith He shapes you into a unique person with a unique place of service in His kingdom.

The Bible is full of promises and all of its promises centre on Christ. Each of you has been assigned a Bible verse on this day of your confirmation.

Shenay “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

Brailey “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Ethan “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12

Luke “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

Christ is light. He is forgiveness. He is salvation. Confirmation is not graduation. It is just one step in your life-long baptismal journey. And it is a journey you never travel alone. May God bless each of you now and from this day forward and may the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, your Saviour, keep you strong until the day you meet Him face to face. Amen.
+ In nomine Jesu +

Third Sunday of Advent
Rite of Confirmation
14 December 2014
Reverend Darrin L. Kohrt