Each year, Christ Church graduates a group of confirmation students. These students are typically in 8th grade, but in many cases there are older students there, too.
During the confirmation ceremony, after months of classes and requirements, the students make a commitment and vow to be “faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world.” The confirmands either reflect on their baptismal vows or are baptized during this ceremony as well. These are important vows to take and reflect upon. On behalf of the church, I had the pleasure of presenting a personalized study Bible to each of our confirmands. This Bible is always a study version, with answers to questions or details about things that might need more unpacking.
Sometimes when confirmation is over, the students’ priorities change or life gets busy and sometimes they fall off of the radar. Sports and music and drama and other activities take precedence and all of a sudden, they drop off of the radar. (It happens with the students the same way as it does with many adults: we get busy and realize we haven’t seen those friends we promised to get together with, all of a sudden we realize small group is tonight and we have to do a week’s worth of work today, or we realize its been a month since we’ve been to church.)
This year, I had one student who took the vows she made and put them into clear, visible action. Since the commitment was made, she has shown excellent follow through, especially in regards to reading her Bible. Since the confirmation ceremony, this student has thanked me for her study Bible every time she has crossed my path.
Last week, she opened to the front of the Bible and showed me the study plans that show you how you can read the Bible. Next to each passage was a box to be checked when complete. She didn’t point out the ones that were checked, she simply told me about how “awesome” this study Bible is because she can read more information about what’s going on in the passages and it makes it easier to understand and enjoy her Bible.
The thing that strikes me most is that her level of commitment has risen since she accepted her vows as a confirmand. She has become much more active during weekend worship, is present every week at Endeavor, and is seeking new ways to get involved and feed her small group.
This student is just one snapshot of how confirmation molds and shapes lives. She is just one success story of many showing how Endeavor helps change lives for the better. In a world where it is so easy to see the failures, this student brings hope with a commitment beyond her confirmation.