Written by Talitha Arnold
"They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and with all their soul." - 2 Chronicles 15: 1-15
This May 22 at the church I serve, we celebrate the "Rite of Initiation and Confirmation" with six young people from the congregation. The service marks the end of a two-year journey for the young adolescents and also the beginning of their adult lives, or the "initiation to adulthood," as we call it.
Right now the Youth Confirmands are working on their Statements of Faith to present to the congregation that Sunday. Each young person will share what they believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Church. Some of their answers are long, others quite brief. A youth once wrote about the Holy Spirit: "I don't know what it is or what it's supposed to do. Do you?"
Whether their answers are long or short, and whether or not they choose to confirm their faith and join the church, the Youth Confirmands are living into the kind of covenant with God that the Book of Chronicles records the people of Israel made centuries ago—a covenant not to obey God or follow God or even love God. It is, instead, to seek God, "with all their heart and with all their soul."
United's Youth Confirmands may not be ready, even after two years, to confirm their faith this May. That's okay. What we truly hope is that they will continue to seek God, with heart and soul.
In so doing, may they know something of God's presence and grace. As the Greek author Nikos Kazantakis wrote in his book, St. Francis, "What is God but the search for God?"
Thank you, God, for the journey and for the questions. Amen.