Today we experienced the confirmation of a family member. In the Lutheran Church, children around the age of thirteen go through 2 years of study in order to be confirmed and become a “official” member of our congregation. And though you may have your own thoughts on baptism/confirmation systematically speaking : I have always enjoyed this moment. This is because I grew up in the church and since I did not have a “conversation” experience, confirmation is my personal “conversation” experience. I know this sounds shocking for some–but when people ask me “knowing Jesus for the first time”, I look at them with this crazy face … because honestly I cannot think of a time when Christ and God were not a part of my life (which is the real truth, right?)
And though this is a decision a young teenager makes in most churches–I believe that everyone person should take this decision seriously. Mostly because they are standing before God. I know as a kid, I thought “oh my gosh I am committing my life to this and I don’t even know all of my life but okay, here is goes–better not lie to God.” I’m sure there are other ways to think of this–especially because lying to God is a mute point anyways–He’s God, right?–but whatever moment is the distinguishing moment you committed life to Christ (confirmation, baptism, a small prayer), it should be a distinguishable moment. And maybe that’s why I hang onto confirmation.
I also think it is a point to make sure if you have been attending one specific church all your life that you know what you are committing to. Now–I do believe you can commit to God and not commit to the congregation you are going. Please make sure if you are part of a congregation this is something they are okay with (meaning if you switch from “x” church to “y” church their not going to drop you off the face of the earth.) But i also believe as you get older, know where you are. For example–I grew up Methodist. And though I love my methodist heritage, I choose to follow another tradition – Lutheranism. And it is different in both practice and faith. I have friends who are Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic and non-denominational… and they have come from presbyterian, baptist, catholic and non-denominational backgrounds. And they have taken whole-heartedly the decision to follow a tradition different from their own. Or embrace in full their childhood tradition.