Over the past few days, I’ve been doing one of my favorite jobs at this church - talking with confirmands.
In the Methodist church, we baptize babies. But then, when a child gets into the fifth or sixth grade, they get the chance to go through Confirmation: a class where they learn about the teachings of Jesus, the history of Methodism, and what the church is and does. When the course is over, they get to make the decision whether or not they wish to become members of First Methodist McKinney.
Toward the end of this course, they get the chance to speak to one of our pastors. I’ve talked on Zoom with about 20 of this year’s Confirmation class, and wow! You have raised such kind, smart, polite kids, who are very nice about having to have a Zoom meeting with the preacher.
We talk about school. If they are getting good grades. If they have a favorite subject. If they play any sports or instruments. I answer any questions they have about the church. And I tell them how proud we all are of them, and how they make our Church stronger.
Then I always ask if they want to know my favorite Bible verse. And because, like I said, you have raised such polite children, they all say yes. I tell them the verse is 1 John 4:16. “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” And that means that wherever they go, whatever they learn or face as they grow up, they can know that God is love, God loves them, and everything we believe about God has to be consistent with love.
Church, we are lucky. In a few weeks, we will have dozens of new members. And all of them know what we know, what we remember every Sunday, and what we show our neighbors in McKinney and across the world. God is love!