Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Matthew 28:16-20
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“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
Our Faith Journey, So Far
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If you spend almost any length of time with a teenager or other young person (or are one yourself), you will likely witness in them a spectrum of emotions. Happiness and excitement at one moment can rapidly shift to the polar opposite. Do you ever wonder why they act that way (aside from the obvious biological/chemical reasons)? Consider their context: forming and shifting friend groups, pressures to perform in the classroom and athletics/arts arenas, a fully scheduled day or week that includes work for many & countless other factors. How do they make it from one day to the next? How do any of us?
Only by the grace of God.
What we heard from our confirmands in their faith stories, is an underlying thread of a living & vital faith that God is with them through it all. With them in their questioning, wondering, frustrations & outright rejection of Him. We have all been there! You may be “there” right now! And what is their advice? To adapt an excerpt from a faith story that stuck out to me, “May you find within your faith, strength…& love.”
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. Our confirmands are anywhere from 14-16 years old. Can you think back to your own teenage years and think about the role your faith played in your life? How has it changed/grown since then?
2. Questioning and wondering are major elements of growing in one’s faith. What are questions you’re still wrestling with when it comes to matters of faith, Jesus and life? How are you addressing them?
3. A life of faith is not meant to be lived in isolation. Who are the people you share faith and life with? How do you help one another?
The blessing we pray over every young person at their Affirmation of Baptism is this:
“Father in heaven, for Jesus’ sake, stir up in (their name) the gift of your Holy Spirit. Strengthen his/her faith, guide his/her life, empower him/her in serving, give him/her your patience in times of trial and bless him/her with light, love and eternal life. Amen.”
Pray this prayer for yourself. And then live it! Go and serve, have patience, and share with others how the gifts of light, love and eternal life are impacting your life.
Director of Youth & Family Ministry