Pentecost Sunday is the day we traditionally celebrate the confirmations and baptisms of young people after weeks of study and preparation. This year we are privileged to have Rev. Greg Hackett, Las Misiones District Superintendent, to lay hands on those who have made the decision to confirm their Baptismal vows in the way. This year Pentecost Sunday will be celebrated May 20th, fifty days after Easter. Even though many people think of Pentecost as the birthday of the church, the celebration of Pentecost was established long before the event recorded in Acts 2:1 and is referred to in Exodus 20:15 as the “Festival of Weeks” or “Feast of Harvest”. Pentecost is referred to again in the 20th chapter of Acts and the first letter to the Corinthians. Like the celebration of Pentecost, confirmation may be referred to by many different names in different traditions, but nowhere does it mark the beginning or end of our relationship with God or the end of our studies and growth in that relationship. Confirmation is hopefully one of many milestone markers of significant moments in our faith journey.
Immediately following the service of Confirmation and Baptism on May 20, most of the church will gather in the parking lot to participate in the “Joshua Build”. For some, this will be the first significant faith milestone they will remember. For others, this will simply be the most recent in a lifetime of moments affirming the covenant they entered at their Confirmation.
In addition to their Confirmation studies, Friend in the Faith experiences and ministries like the “Joshua Build”, many of these young people have been working towards a missional experience in San Francisco. For several months they have studied, worked and raised money and in a few short weeks will leave to learn from others some of the theologies, philosophies and histories that form their faith expressions. This trip will be one more significant event in their faith journey.
Our Christian faith journey is filled with many milestones: Baptism, a sermon or Sunday School class you remember, children’s pageants, Confirmation, choir trips, Youth Fellowship, high school graduations, college graduations, weddings, birth of a child, and funerals. But it is the moments in-between these events that truly confirm our baptismal covenant. Those times of sacrificing for others or serving someone simply because you caught a glimpse of the face of Christ in their smile brings the resurrected Christ into clearer focus and confirms that relationship. When we experience these milestones as a means of worship we can only truly express our gratitude through ministry with others. When we meet the risen Christ in our ministry with others we can only respond with authentic and meaningful worship. Each becomes an expression of the other and is no longer a single or separate event.
See you Sunday,