Sunday, April 17, 2011

Promise Made

Back when I was growing up,a young Lutheran's confirmation day was most often held on Palm Sunday. The Friday night before Palm Sunday was "questioning". That was the day we dreaded most. On that evening, members of the congregation,  parents and other relatives, and, unfortunately, siblings, all came to church to hear the confirmands answer questions of doctrine.

I was just as nervous for the other kids as I was for myself, especially the kids that were not known to be at the top of the class. I only remember that night vaguely, but  I actually missed a question (I was not one of those known to be at the bottom of the class) and I can still see the irritated look on my father's face when I messed up. It did not help that my father was the pastor, and he was the one who had taught me that answer.

I only remember only a few of things about my confirmation on Palm Sunday. I remember being a little hesitant to promise that I would be faithful until death. I certainly wanted that. I simply did not know what the future held. I felt it would be bad enough to find myself falling away from the faith. How much worse would it be if I stood in front of God and the congregation of believers and promised not to do such a thing. I made that promise that day only because I believed that God would be faithful; that He would hold me near, even if I could not do so myself.

Confirmation day was my first opportunity to wear high heeled shoes. I practiced wearing them every day for a week before venturing out in public. Also, I recall that John Willman, one of my classmates, was very irritated that he had to stand in front with the girls. I think he was the shortest person in the whole class.

I looked for my confirmation picture, but couldn't locate it. The group picture was memorable because Robert Mars (one of those guys I was worried about at questioning..he did fine..I messed up) was standing so precisely centered in front of one of the pots of palms that it looked like he was wearing a Zulu warrier headdress. Those palms were spread in a perfect fan-shape, and the pot was so centered on his head you were sure it was the base of the headdress. If I ever run across the photo I will post it.  Eight years later I got married in that church.

Our class song was "Take Thou My Hand and Lead Me."

My confirmation verse was:

"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the Strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

What was yours?



Dr. Barry L. Kolb said...

My confirmation verse was (and is) Psalm 1:1,2.

On a side confirmation class (which included Donn Kaiser, Jim Vogel and Evelyn Kroger), were the first class NOT to be confirmed at St. Johns, Seward on Palm Sunday.

And yes, there is a story behind that!

Katherine said...

Okay, Barry. Give. What the story?

Dr. Barry L. Kolb said...

Ask us at the next reunion!

Diane said...

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I think we all had a similar experience...that very anxious night of questioning. It was also the custom to invite the Pastor and your 8th grade teacher for dinner on the day of confirmation, which , of course, was Palm Sunday. Funny to think that most of us were doing the same thing that March 31st 1958. It wasn't until several months later that the class of '62 came together to change our lives forever! Well, most of us...except for that Hussman would be a couple of years before she changed my life!!! Good memories that you have led me to revisit...doing more of that these days!,