At the end of August just before starting High School, our confirmation students stood before the congregation and gave witness to their faith in Jesus Christ. Below are excerpts from faith statements on Confirmation Sunday:
I have needed a strong faith in many situations in my life. I needed faith when I went to the Detroit mission trip, and God showed me parts of Detroit that were wonderful. I needed faith when I went to Knoxville, Tennessee, and God gave me the courage to go out into the city and help the homeless. I also need faith in my daily life when I need help balancing my time between practicing cello, doing schoolwork, and still keeping God the priority. God is always there for me when I need him just as he said in Isaiah 41:10. As I continue to strengthen my faith during high school, I will never forget the secret to life: Jesus loves me. — Kevin Agner
I’ve experienced a miracle of God myself. When I was 4, I got kidney reflux, and I was in and out of the hospital a lot. The doctors said that there was a diverticulum on my bladder and problems with my kidneys. If they didn’t clear up by a certain date, I would have to get surgery. The doctors said that they wouldn’t go away on their own, so they set a surgery date. Then, the very day before I was to get the surgery, the diverticulum and all the other problems just vanished without a trace. The doctors were all amazed — they’d never seen anything like that happen before. I didn’t need surgery, and to this day, I’ve never had any more problems with it. No more kidney reflux. My recovery without surgery was a gift of God. And I’ve got to give, right?
Learning about what Jesus did can let us get ideas for what we can do for others and for our community. It’s motivation to do the right thing. We can tell stories of God’s love and sharing, inspire others to do the same, no matter how much or how little you have. You can remind people not to worry of the future and that God will handle it. And whatever happens — kidney reflux or not — God is always with us. — Gemma Brown
A little while ago if asked, “Why do you care about church, Jesus, any of it?” I probably would have stood there for a moment with no real answer because I wouldn’t want to say what immediately jumped to my mind: “I’m afraid of going to Hell.” That is what I was thinking about when Pastor Rhodes addressed something similar in his sermon one Sunday. He said something that I’ll never forget: “We shouldn’t be scared into heaven!” At that moment, that was exactly what I needed to hear.
Why do I care about any of this? God does so much for me. He’s the reason I’m here. He loves me unconditionally. He died nailed to a cross for me. How could I not care? — Tessa Brown
Jesus is always listening to our prayers and answers them, but not always the way we want them answered. I pray every day for my family and my friends and anything life throws at me. I pray for the homeless and the people in poverty and that they find help. On the day before my grandma died, she gave me one last hug. That was comfort beyond belief, but that isn’t the only thing that gives me comfort. Each time I pray I know God is listening, and that is the greatest comfort you can have. — Abby Buechler
I believe that Jesus is central in my life because He has shown that all things be done with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. For without having Jesus central in my life, these things would not exist. If we live by the spirit then we will be guided by the spirit. I believe that without these things and without God, my life would be dull and dark. Though I do not know what my future is and where my life will take me, I know that God does. There are two Bible verses that stick with me when I think about my future and my faith. The first one is Jeremiah 29:11 and the second one is 2 Timothy 1:7. These verses are what I live by and they show me that I can do all things through Christ, when He is central in my life. — Olivia Dagenhart
I’ll have to be honest with you — when I started writing this, I had no idea what to talk about. I started thinking and brainstorming and asking myself, “Who has been in my corner from day one?” That’s Jesus, and the greatest gift that He has given me is a family who reminds me every day that God is with me. God cares deeply about me, and I’ve seen that in the lives of my parents and sister. They care for me, and when I am around them, I can feel God’s love. And there is you, my church family. You have welcomed me, and showed me what it means to welcome others. From my family and from you, I have learned how to love God, and I know that He and all of you are always with me. — Spencer Everhart
During my journey through confirmation, we learned about something called the triangle. I know you’re thinking, don’t you learn that in math? Not that kind of triangle. This triangle had a different meaning. The top of the triangle stands for “up,” my relationship with God, the bottom right corner stands “in,” for my relationship with my family and close friends, and the bottom left corner stands for “out,” my relationship with the world, and maybe people outside my comfort zone.
The triangle keeps my life balanced. As a teenage girl i get unbalanced. Instead of being a triangle, sometimes I’m just a dot. I knew that I wanted to be a person who doesn’t just live — or even just pray — one side of the triangle, but all of it. Why is Jesus in my life? He’s always there as my balance. — Grace Faller
In today’s society, some of us are too afraid of what others would think, or we are too shy to ask them to come to church, or share scripture with them — kind of like Peter denying Jesus three times. Are we denying Jesus by not sharing with others? Instead, what we should do is lift up God’s holy name, and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, no matter the cost or shame that it will bring us.
I know that God loves me, and I remember what Jesus said about his persecutors while dying on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” I want to stand up for Jesus and live for Him each and every day. — David Holden
God is everlasting. He wants me to love the sick and the poor. He wants me to love the rich and the prideful. He wants me to love the elderly and the young. I want to love all people, even if their hearts cannot see, because that is what God gives me. He loves me even when I turn my head in disbelief that God cannot love me. He tells me it’s OK not to be a perfect person. Everyone has flaws, inside and out, that we try to hide from the judgmental world. I don’t want to hide anything from the Lord God. He wants the good and bad of me.
So, I am telling you now that he wants the good AND bad of you, too. If Jesus can love you with all your imperfections, then I will try to be just like him. I want people to see Jesus shining through me. I want them to hear Jesus talking through me and most importantly living through me in my daily life. — Olivia Kyles
On a daily basis, I can feel Jesus in my life whether it’s in school, sports, church, or anywhere. Jesus wants us to spread the word of God and be children of God through word and deed. Jesus risked his life for us, so that we could live for him.
One particular time I felt Jesus present was one night during vespers at Lutheridge. There was a pastor from another church group who was acting out Jesus being nailed to the cross. As he moved around the circle, he placed a nail in everyone’s hand. When he placed the nail in my hand, it felt sharp and hurt a little bit. At this moment I thought of how much pain Jesus must have gone through to die for our sins if just placing the nail in our hands would hurt. — Victoria Plyler