A Lifetime of Faith

2 Kings 5:1-14      Confirmation/All Saints’       Nov 2, 2014

I gotta say that a lot of this sermon leapt off the page and didn’t sound a whole lot like what is printed here.  I blame the Holy Spirit.  🙂

10342884_872755949409962_5694855061437032835_nToday, Namaan not only wants his leprosy to be healed, he wants the King of Israel’s attention and then he wants the full attention of the prophet Elisha. He can’t believe it’s not a BIG DEAL to heal this terrible disease he’s had for a long, long time. Bathe 7 times in the dumpy Jordan River? That’s it?!

Today is confirmation Sunday. And it’s a BIG DEAL, am I right? And today should be.

Today’s the day you get to affirm your baptism. Just as Namaan came out of the water good as new, today you publically affirm that God claimed you– long before you hit the water – but makes a special claim to you through that water with words of promise and love that last a life time. Actually, that claim and that love lasts beyond a lifetime. God’s love lasts well into the next life that we celebrate today with the saints.

Today, you take charge of turning your life over to God. It’s a BIG DEAL. And, quite frankly, it’s a scary thing you’ve done. Servants were the game changers in our story from today. Servants who had the ear of a general in the army and got 2 warring nations to talk to each other. Servants who pointed out the truth. Following Jesus is a life of being a servant: speaking up for others, telling the truth. And it’s hard. What you’re claiming as your own faith today – well, let’s just say being a servant is tough stuff.

All this is to say that today is really about a faith that lasts a lifetime. And there are going to be epic moments in your lives as you get older. But mostly, it’s about little, every day things. It’s how you navigate friendships and relationships with people you love. It’s how you treat people. It’s the people who are part of your life. It’s little, every day life things that make a life of faith. You’re about to promise what people promised for you at your baptism. I am about to remind you of God’s promise to always love you. And then I’m going to ask you about how you’re going to live out this every day life of being a disciple, of living out your faith. In today’s story, Namaan thought 10 sets of clothes and heaps of money would buy his healing – make a big production of it. When, in reality, those things didn’t cure him. No, it’s about God being at work in your every day life.

So in just a few minutes, I’m going to ask you if you promise to live among God’s faithful people; if you promise to participate in worship and come to the communion table; I’m going to ask you if, every day, you’re going to live out your faith through what you do and what you say. I’m going to ask you if you promise to serve all people the way Jesus served them. I’m going to ask you if you promise to seek out God’s justice and peace in all you do.

There will be days you break these promises. Most days, actually. There will be days you keep them so well. But that’s what a life of faith is all about: daily do-overs. Because God never breaks the promise to love you. Never. That’s the deal with baptism. It’s once and for all.

DSC_0490-001God is with you in your every day life, Mikenna, in and out of the pool, with your family and your friends.

God is with you, Max on the field and in your studies and with your family.

God is with you, Isabelle, in your world travels, your curiosity, in your family.

God is with you, Jack, in your academics, the scouts, and your sense of humor.

God is with you, Ryan, on the field or the hockey rink, out in creation, with your family.

God is with you, Bradee, in the pit band this weekend and in choir, in your friendships and with your family.

God is with you, Isaiah, on the football field and in choir and band and with your family

God is with you, Erika, in soccer and dance, in your relationship with your sister and with all of your family

God is with you, Loraina, drumming and dancing and acting, with your sister and all of your family.

God is with you, Fletcher, on the field, in your thoughtfulness, in your family.

Each one of you, God is with you all of your days. In school, in your family no matter the shape it’s in, and in all your days to come. Sometimes it’s a BIG DEAL and sometimes it’s not. But it is a life of faith where God is always faithful to you.