I was confirmed on April 16, 2000. Thinking back to that day 21 years ago, I was a pimply-faced kid in a white confirmation gown standing before the congregation at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Steeleville, IL. It’s easy for me to remember the date because I was given a study Bible with my name and the date inscribed on it – otherwise, I’d be bound to forget it!

This Sunday, May 2, 2021, we celebrate the confirmation of five of our young people here at St. Matthew: Kendalyn, Anna, Brelee, Cade, and Jacob. Over the past two years we have gathered Wednesday after Wednesday to grow in understanding God’s Law and Gospel for our lives, to discuss basic questions and answers about our Christian faith through Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, to prepare for faithful reception of the Lord’s Supper, and more. 

I am proud of these five young adults as they are confirmed this week and as they move forward in their faith in Christ! My sincere hope and prayer for each of them, and I know yours as well, is that they continue to trust their Savior through all the ups and downs and comings and goings of life in the years to come.

Here are some of the “sights and sounds” of confirmation to look and listen for this Sunday: two members of our class will be sharing “Statements of Faith” with the congregation. They will be sharing about Jesus, what He has done for us, the importance of their Baptism, and their chosen confirmation verses. Three members of the class will be sharing their Statements at our services in the next several weeks. 

Speaking of confirmation verses, one confirmation tradition is that a certain Bible verse is either assigned to or chosen by a confirmand. This year, each of the students has chosen their own verse. They’ve chosen a wide variety of Scriptures (Matthew 10:22; John 17:21; John 15:5; John 3:16; and Philippians 4:13) which will be read as part of Sunday’s service. A confirmation verse can be a great blessing over the course of life. My confirmation verse, Psalm 23:4, continues to be very meaningful for me. I’m sure many of you could say the same about yours!

White gowns or robes are a confirmation tradition as well. This is a visual reminder of our Baptism, in which we were washed clean of our sins through Christ’s forgiveness. The traditional color associated with confirmation is red. Red is associated with the Holy Spirit who came upon the first Christians at Pentecost as “tongues of fire” (Acts chapter 2). God the Holy Spirit is responsible for kindling and fanning our faith in Christ into flame.

Finally, the “Rite of Confirmation” itself is a time in the service when the confirmands profess their faith in the Lord and promise to remain faithful to Him no matter what – even in the face of potential suffering and death. 

May the Holy Spirit grant that we all remain faithful to our Lord all our days, and finally, receive His crown of eternal life!

Peace in Christ,

                        Pastor Kory Janneke