18 Members of our church will be leaving on Thursday morning for Tuscaloosa, for our Tuscaloosa III adult mission trip. They were prayed over and commissioned last Sunday. I’m proud of their willingness to get up and go- serving in Christ’s name where they are needed.
On Sunday, FPC will welcome 26 new members- the confirmation class of 2012. These eighth graders will profess their faith and become full, voting, adult members of our community. They will confirm their faith and be commissioned for a life of service to Jesus Christ. Confirmands are required to memorize the answer to question 4 of the Study Catechism of the Presbyterian Church. It is one that explains well the Christian vocation- one that I think we all should learn and work to live.
Q: How do you live in the communion of the Holy Spirit?
A: By the Holy Spirit, I am made one with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am baptized into Christ’s body, the church. As a member of this community, I trust in God’s Word, share in the Lord’s Supper, and turn to God in prayer. As I grow in grace and knowledge, I am led to do the good works that God intends for my life.
…Whether acknowledging our faith or living it in service, members of our church family are showing that they are following God’s call and commission for their life: stepping up and stepping out in faith as servants of the Living God.
In the 1500’s, John Calvin wrote this prayer of commissioning, entitled Since Thou Has Chosen Us to Serve Thee (language updated).
Almighty God, you have seen fit to take us to be your priests, and have chosen us while we were not only in a lowly condition but even profane- and strangers to all holiness, and you have dedicated us to yourself by your Holy Spirit. Grant now that we may offer ourselves to you as a holy sacrifice.
Let us remember your charge and call.
Let us consecrate ourselves to your service and so present to you our effort and our labor.
May your name really be glorified in us and may our ingrafting into the Body of your only Son be truly evident. May your Name perpetually be praised by the entire Body of Christ, the church. Amen.
Let us all hear our commission, the same one as our mission team and our confirmands: “May your lives be blessed and your labors fruitful, as your offer yourself, gladly, in the service of Jesus Christ.”
Painting is “The Great Commission” by John Larsen