For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
As someone who grew up in the Lutheran Church, my Confirmation Classes were probably a bit different than some of yours. There was a lot of memorizing various creeds, as well as learning of the life and times of Martin Luther. I switched churches halfway through the process, and as such I ended up going through the process essentially twice. As a young teen, I will admit a lot of the class was a struggle fest. I didn’t often feel connected to God; rather, I felt connected to getting questions right on a test.
Whenever I felt confused, I remembered my younger days when the Bible bus was at school. In this small bus, there were lots of books and posters. What always stuck to me was John 3:16 was plastered EVERYWHERE. So much so that when I returned to class, if I closed my eyes I could still see, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Remembering this verse and the covenant God made with us through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, helped me to better contextualize my Confirmation class. And remembering this verse made me feel closer to God.
Believe it or not I’ve grown older, and often feel confused. The world presses at all of us, sometimes in ways which seem unbearable. When it does, I repeat this verse to myself, and it gives me hope. It strengthens my faith. It brings me a sense of calm. This is not just God making a covenant with me- I made a covenant with God, affirmed in my Confirmation. I renew this covenant when I profess that Jesus is my savior. I also vowed to live this out in community with others, particularly at St. Thomas UMC, when I took my vows of membership. And I will continue to lean on John 3:16 as I work with everyone here in our church to love God and spread our love of Jesus.
About Hunter Lenz
Hunter is your 2023-24 Church Council Chair. He also ushers at the 9 a.m. service and enjoys the ways St. Thomas UMC reaches out to our community.