Confirmation Journey, Pt2
Remembering Who We Are
Yesterday we talked about “belonging” in our second Confirmation/Baptism class. Looking at five different scripture passages, students were reminded who they are and whose they are. I believe this is the core foundation of our Christian belief, that we belong to God. And not only do we belong to God based on our mere commitment, but there is this unbreakable bond that cannot separate us from the love of God (see Romans 8:31-39). This unbreakable bond is our very identity. We are created in God’s image (Imago Dei). And it is Christ Jesus, God’s perfect image, who leads us and walks alongside us. This bond is the reason why we say Christ lives in us.
Our discipleship is a lifelong journey of recovering God’s image in us AND illuminating this light through our words and actions. One thing I shared with students was that when we affirm our Imago Dei we also ought to acknowledge and affirm Imago Dei in others, even in our “enemies.”
A sense of belonging is directly tied to a sense of identity. In adolescent development, belonging is an essential aspect as it helps to shape their sense of self and their relationships with others. A lack of belonging, on the other hand, can have negative effects, leading to feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, and increased risk-taking behavior. While our current generation is the most connected generation of all time via technology, it is also considered the loneliest generation of all time. And we have been witnessing the symptoms of this all over the news, local and nationwide. In the past week at our church’s annual leadership retreat, our adult leaders shared their concerns for youth and shared their desire to make youth mental health one of our church’s main priorities.
I am no expert in youth mental health or parenting, but I wonder as an idealist dreamer myself, what if we remind our students on a regular, daily basis of their belonging to God? That they are beloved children of God, created in the image of God, whom God calls good.
As the wise Rafiki said, “The question is: who are you?”
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