This Sunday we will celebrate our Confirmation students. These students spent a weekend in January at a retreat center in the Blue Ridge mountains. On our first night in the cabin, we began discussing what God is like.
I asked the group of students to reflect on two questions:
- If a friend approached you and said, “I know that you are a Christian and I am not sure what I think about God. What is God like?” How would you respond?
The intent of this question was to get the group thinking about how to describe God.
If you were in a similar situation, and a friend asked you what God is like, what characteristics would you name?
Here were some of the most frequently cited in our group:
God is loving.
God is all knowing.
God is like a best friend.
God is a guide for my life.
God is with me always.
The second question I asked was:
- After describing God, your friend seems pleased, but still confused. Your friend asks “How do you know that God is like that?” How would you respond?
How do we know what we know?
This is a question that I encouraged the students (and us!) to contemplate.
The students came up with a couple of ideas.
We know about God through the Bible, God’s inspired word to us.
We know about God through experience. We can all think of times that we have felt God’s presence in our lives.
We know about God through the community of the church. Through worship, sermons, and growing up in a family of faith, we come to know God.
What would you add to the list?
On the last night of the retreat, the students spent an hour writing their own personal statement of faith. You will be able to read them on Sunday. These statements share the students personal convictions and understandings of God. Before writing the statements, I told the students, “These statements are not what you think you should believe. They are what you actually believe.”
I am proud of Unity because we are a church that actively supports and encourages young people as they form their ideas of God. I am proud of the work these students have committed to exploring their faith.
Help us welcome them on Sunday at both services.
“You also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
See you on Sunday!