To Julian

Julian, this past Sunday your grandmother and I watched and listened as you were confirmed. It was a wonderful day as we were able to thank God for how he brought you to faith in your Savior Jesus and has kept you close to him through his Word. We were also able to thank God for the promise you made–to stay faithful to him through regular study of the Bible and taking the Lord’s Supper regularly.

As I think about your journey to your confirmation, there were a lot of firsts. You are the first person in both your families who did not see face-to-face the Pastor who taught your confirmation class for almost three months before you were confirmed. I am sure Pastor Hein was in touch with you but it was from afar.

After researching, using the most accurate and famous resource I could find, your mom, I discovered another first–no one else in our immediate families was ever baptized and confirmed by the same pastor who was their father. I am not sure how special that is for you now, but as time goes on your appreciation of this will grow. Both your dad and mom are so excited that you have made your confirmation promise to not only stay faithful to God who created you, but that you will also undertake the responsibility for maintaining that promise.

And there was one other first–when your uncle Jim not only led the gathering in prayer, but also shared some encouragement to you. If you remember, Jim spoke about the fact that faith and your Christian life is an everyday event. They grow as you daily spend time in God’s word to gain strength to live out your love for your Savior. Part of faith walk is to tell others about the wonderful message of what Jesus did for you by paying for all of your sins through his death on the cross.

One more point, Julian, and then I will let you go. Throughout Jim’s encouragement the idea of being proud of your faith kept rising to the surface. You will find that sometimes it may be difficult because being proud of something usually means you want to talk about it all the time. Why wouldn’t you want to talk about the fact that Jesus gave up everything for you, Julian?

But as you live out your life, you will find that many times the majority of the world does not believe or they choose to ignore what the Bible tells us about life. They believe something else about creation, relationships, obeying rules and laws, or even if God exists. When you find yourself with others who believe those things, it may be challenging to show you are proud of your faith and share what you know to be true.

Just so you know, Julian, the majority does not win–Jesus does. We both know that is what the Bible says. And if you find yourself wandering away from the lamp and light that your confirmation passage talks about, Jesus WILL come after you. He will break down walls, climb any mountain and swim the deepest ocean to get you back. Why wouldn’t he? Jesus gave his life for you and he never, ever wants to lose you as his child.

Julian, when you were  baby, your grandmother would kiss you good night by saying, “Grandma loves you, but Jesus loves you more.” Neither of those have changed even though you are 14 now. We are so proud that you pledged that you will stay faithful to God. We pray that never changes and with his strength, it never will.

Congratulations, Julian.

We love you, but Jesus loves you more.

Yes, an old song but the words should be familiar to you.

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