Congratulations and the assurance of our prayers go to the seven members of St. James’ who were confirmed, and to the one member who was received into the Anglican Communion, at the uplifting service in Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday. This is cause for rejoicing and celebration, and an encouragement to us all, as we see members renewing their commitment and being ready to make a public affirmation of their living faith in Christ.
Following on from our Lenten engagement with the Anglican Five Marks of Mission, or Five Marks of Love as were encouraged to see them, the confirmation is a reminder to us all to examine and renew our commitment to live out our faith in worship, in loving service, and, as Deacon Lucy challenged us so clearly last week, in sharing our faith with those around us. If we do not let us others know what God’s love means to us, and how it gives meaning to our lives, how will they discover?
In confirmation the seed of the Holy Spirit, given in baptism, is renewed, revitalized within us. Paul writes to Timothy, “Stir up the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands.” While Paul here may have been reminding Timothy of the gift of the Spirit in ordination, this encourages all of us to reflect on how we are bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and our life as a church: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Are we allowing the Spirit into our lives, to mould us into the people, the church, God longs us to be?
Let us give thanks for Robert, Wesley, Christopher, Barbara, Hannah, Jordan, Lorraine and Matena, in the new commitment they have made, and let us pray for one another, for the renewing of the Holy Spirit in our common life together.