One of my favorite times as a pastor is connected to our congregation’s tradition of Confirmation. Every Spring we provide an opportunity for our youth to publicly confess their relationship with Jesus. The purpose is to announce that the faith given to them by their parents is no longer mom and dad’s faith; it’s MY faith. One tradition connected to the experience of Confirmation is to give a specific Bible Verse to each young person.
The Bible verse might be a verse that exemplifies them in some way, or could be a prophetic look at their future, or it might provide a challenge for them in some way. Sometimes the family works with the child to pick a verse, but often they ask the pastors to help select the right verse for them. I take this very seriously, and spend many hours praying and reading to get just the right verse for each person.
I think this is such an important process to me because of my own experience in confirmation as an 8th grader. It was up to us to pick our verse that spoke to us. Our pastors gave us a long list of verses that would be good to use, and from it I chose Joshua 24:25b “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” My dad was a pastor, and my older brother always knew that he was going to be a pastor. Being a pastor was the last thing I wanted to do when I was an 8th grader, but I also knew that I wanted a verse that was going to say something important about my future. Little did I know at that time that being a pastor was in my future, or even that I would have a family in the future. I was really just thinking about the present and wanted to take the opportunity to let my dad and brother know that Jesus was just as important to me as He was to them.
This year I will pick a verse for my oldest son as he confirms his faith in Jesus. I’ve got a long list of verses, and I’m doing a lot of praying. I hope that the Word of God works powerfully in his life as it has in mine. I’m glad that my Confirmation verse has become true for me and my family. I hope his verse will do the same.
Do you have a verse that has become part of who you are? Some people call that a “life verse.” Do you have a verse that guides you, that excites you, that gives you hope, and reminds you of your identity in Jesus? Take some time today to consider your favorite Bible verses, and see if there is one that speaks clearly into your life. Memorize it, and live it out boldly!
Dear Jesus, your Word is living and active and speaks directly into our lives. Shape us by your Word. Amen.