“Searching for Sunday: ‘Confirmation’”

On Jan. 26, Pastor Jim preaches on 2 Timothy 1:1-7.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

I remember hearing someone say, “God doesn’t have grandchildren.” It meant that we cannot assume our children also belong to God simply because we do. The emphasis was on the fact that every person has to decide for themselves to follow God or not.

I suppose that’s true. However, we should never forget the importance of sharing and living out our faith with others. When a child is baptized we tell that child that we will never let him or her forget who they are. They are claimed by us and by God.

I officially accepted Christ in the summer of 1981. A friend of mine shared his testimony and for whatever reason, I was ready to hear it. However, I wonder if I would have even been able to recognize Jesus had I not been told of him by my parents and by my church. Those wonderful, good-hearted Methodist women who taught me in Sunday school, Methodist Youth Fellowship, and elsewhere made it possible.

I remember my Methodist grandmother Shirley who shared her faith and belief that the Jesus way was the way for me. By the way, she was a teetotaler, and when I teased her with the fact that Jesus turned water into wine she replied, “I know. I wish he hadn’t done that!”

Paul reminds the young pastor Timothy of his “sincere faith,” a faith that first lived in his grandmother Lois and in his mother. This spiritual link with his family was the reason, according to Paul, that he should “rekindle the gift of God that is within him.”

This week we will think together about Confirmation, the process in which we pass on our faith to our youth. It’s important. It makes a difference.

Question: Where, when, and how are you passing your faith on to others?