Monday, October 19, 2009

Speaking on Valium

by Scott Dalen

This coming Sunday is of course Reformation Sunday, which doubles as confirmation day at my church. That being said, last night the church hosted 18 high school freshman along with their parents, mentors, and prayer partners, filling a pretty strong portion of the fellowship hall for their confirmation banquet.

A year ago, when I was beginning seminary, I began teaching confirmation and these particular kids were in the first two classes that I taught. Due to that time I spent with them, my supervising pastor thought it would be fitting for me to present the address. He assured me that it didn’t need to be overly extensive. 10-15 minutes mainly aimed at encouraging them as they are confirmed.

So I spent the last week racking my brain trying to come up with something to talk about. Then I remembered 1st Timothy 4:12, “Let no one look down upon you because you are young…” I thought this was pretty fitting considering that once the kids are confirmed, they will be considered full members of the congregation, on equal footing with every other adult in the church. In order to fill out a few minutes, I wanted to share something personal with them, so I shared an example of what happened after confirmation for me as well as my brother and sister. We each took different paths since confirmation and I think that the kids appreciate some personal insight into things.

Well, anyway, I got the address all ready to go last Friday, so by last night I was good to go. I headed out to the church and was very impressed with the way they had the dining room set up. Its tradition for the 8th graders/parents to serve the banquet, and they did a really nice job. I ended up sitting at a table with a family that included a guy from the town close to where I grew up, so we got to talking about the town itself, things that have changed and all that jazz.

Then it was time for me to give the address. I think it went okay, but admittedly, I felt kinda like I was on Valium while I was doing it. I hadn’t slept well the night before and by 7:30 in the evening I was dragging. I guess it went okay though because several parents came up to me after it was over and thanked me for what I had said. Hopefully the Spirit uses it on some of the kids as well. But as my partner pastor says every time we discuss a sermon, you send it out there, but it no longer belongs to you…you have to trust that the person that needs to hear it hears it.


Anonymous Linda said...

You are the vessel which God uses to speak His words. I'm sure the message was filled by the Holy Spirit.

10/19/2009 01:23:00 PM  

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