Last night I was able to participate in my church’s confirmation class by facilitating one of the lessons. My time with the students—mostly junior highers or high school freshmen—was fun and refreshing. I haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time with people of that age group and I greatly enjoyed just being a fly on the wall as we ate dinner prior to the lesson. I listened with a growing smile as the students expressed their opinions on recent episodes of Gilmore Girls, as they shared what songs they were singing in school choir, and as they tried to explain to one another why you can’t divide by zero with surprising verve.
The confirmation curriculum, which lasts for a couple years, follows a biblical overview, then moves into some basic systematic theology, and finally ends with the specific theology and history of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Last night we looked at Jesus’ baptism and temptation in the Gospels, but the curriculum also used the biblical narratives to explore the topics of baptism and temptation in general. The students’ interaction with the material was impressive. They shared profound questions and showed a willingness to wrestle with difficult material. There is joy when you see sparks of wisdom and insight come to people as they consider what they believe. And, the students were funny in the blissful way that only people that age can be. It is a humor that comes out loud and often unfiltered and borders on obnoxious, but it is pure and hints at the wonders of that period of early adolescence, so full of mystery, change, and terror. (It is also a period I honestly wouldn’t wish on anyone.)
And for those wondering, unlike when I recently preached, I didn’t cuss during the lesson.