Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Preparing to Confirm

This coming Sunday I'll be baptizing two "tweenagers" and then confirming them and three others in our Sunday service. Look for pix after the event on the church website. This is the third time I've taught or helped to teach confirmation, but the first time I'll be serving the "priestly function." For some reason, confirmation has always seemed very important to me. It is the time when kids take some time to consider an adult decision, and then most likely return to being kids. The event is usually understood better in retrospect, like when the two disciples who walked with Jesus to Emmaus thought after Jesus had disappeared from their midst, "How our hearts burned within us when he was walking with us and opening the scriptures."
With my own confirmation, I remember sitting in my dad's office at Sequoia UMC in Fayetteville. I don't remember much of the content. I remember going to a Shabbat service at the local synagogue and being mystified, then bored when the entirety (or what seemed like the entirety) of the service was conducted in Hebrew. I remember the Rabbi taking the scroll around the small congregation of people, and the way the people's eyes followed the Torah. I remember standing outside after the service was over and seeing a satellite drop out of the sky. I think I remember seeing it so clearly that I could actually make out the shape of the satellite. That's all I remember about confirmation. I don't remember any of the content. I think I actually remember the service when folks in the church lay their hands on me. I remember that being powerful and feeling really good. I remember feeling the pride and prayers of the people there coursing through their hands and into my hair and spine and shoulders. It really is a empowering feeling.
I suppose that's what I'm looking forward to most about this weekend. I hope that my confirmands remember that ritual. They can forget the content of the lessons we have had (I did), and they will probably remember the same things. We'll be visiting a Catholic, Episcopal, and Shabbat service this coming Friday, so they'll probably remember that and the service. Who knows? Maybe something will drop out of the sky and stamp the event in their mind too.

No comments:

Post a Comment