Monday, June 6, 2011

A "Terrible" Secret

I will now share a terrible secret.

It was just over 20 years ago... on May 5th, I was confirmed, and the pastor put his hand on my head and read...


um. Something from the Psalms.


I don't quite remember the verse. I remember thinking, "Really? That? Why in the world would you pick that for me?" I remember thinking, as I considered the rest of my class of 65, that this fellow really didn't know me that well, even though I was the one who kept pointing out errors in his class -- like when our material (Augsburg Fortress) asserted that we could tell the points where "Genesis changes authors"... or when I brought the Good News bibles they used up, pointed at there butchered rendition of John 1:1 where it says that the Word was *like* God. Actually opened to the verse, pointed at it, and said, "Isn't that heresy?"

I was a stubborn, adamant, theological stick in the mud. And there's just this generic verse that... well, I don't even know who it would apply to.

So - what is my confirmation verse? Beats the pants off of me.

Does this disturb me?


Actually, it amuses me. The other memory from that day is this: when I communed for the first time, they had two running lines - you went one way for individual cup and then up the stairs to get the Common cup. I was 2nd in line - and I went to the Common Cup. Third in line was Leah Souder... and after I return to my seat, she sits down and says, "Thank you so much for getting the common cup - I didn't want to be the only one."

And I was glad I wasn't the only one either.

So, I guess I don't have the romantic, idealized Confirmation story. There was no precious moment to treasure, no fond, heart warming memories. Just this. In the Church there are indifferent pastors and all sorts of social pressures that try to make us conform with the trends of the world.

That's actually a profound lesson for anyone to learn. Even almost makes having no clue what my confirmation verse is sort of worth it. Maybe it's not that terrible of a secret.

P.S. The assistant pastor in his first year there was Brian Saunders, who had lived in the same apartment complex with me. He was a good pastor. He taught me things that I still remember. He's now the Iowa East DP... I ran into him at the Sem on call night... he asked if I was one of the guys called to his district -- no, just one of the guys you confirmed back in the day at Holy Cross in 1991.

P.S.S. I don't remember any of the verses from my Ordination either... or really what the sermon at my wedding was about (well, Jesus - Pastor Nehrenz is a good preacher). And that's okay.


Mike Baker said...

Don't feel bad. I don't remember any of that confirmation stuff either. And I have no excuse...

...because it was just a couple years ago.
...and I was an adult.

*facepalm* :P

Thomas Lemke said...

I can entirely picture you correcting the confirmation materials! xD The John 1:1 part --> are "Good News" Bibles translated by Arians or something?

Keep up the story/narrative type things every so often - this was definitely worth my lunch break to read!