Thursday, May 12, 2005

Wholly Spirit

Wonderful evening at the confirmation of three young men I have known for years and spent the last couple of months preparing for confirmation. It was incredible. It felt so HOLY, so RIGHT and so TIMELY. The highlight for me was standing together with David (our vicar) by each of the boys as the bishop confirmed them. I trully felt part of something tangibly transcendent and evidently life-changing.

The service was in one of the other team churches, St Mary's and St George's, which is decidedly smaller than All Saints' and being a week night it wasn't terribly full of people however it was clearly full of the Holy Spirit and indeed of some great incense!

It made me reflect on my own confirmation (many years ago now - good grief!) which was a BIG event at All Saints' on a Sunday morning with no spare seats in the house (must have been about 500-600 people). I was prepared for confirmation in a large group of I think about 8 teenagers and in fact there was ANOTHER group of a simialr size of just teenagers. It was in the days when it was "my turn". I'd reached the age that one reached and so it was time to be confirmed. I ddin't feel then what I felt yesterday evening.

I'm not saying I regret being confirmed. Of course not. It's merely that I think the idea we have now of admitting young children to Holy Communion in a big group and then waiting for individuals to ASK for confirmation.

So often in the Church and in youth work we focus on the BIG events with LARGE numbers. God does not measure success in numbers (does God measure success at all?). God calls us one by one as the words of the confirmation service yesterday said:

God calls you by name and claims you for His own


Kathryn said...


Anonymous said...

We still have the when-you-reach-your-age thingy at out church. In some ways I wish we had it differently but it isn't possible to change it just like that.But on the other hand, most of the youths around here get a year of teaching and walking with Jesus and that is something too :D