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Confirming Our Faith

by Abi Foerster on May 14, 2024

Desmond Tutu, South African archbishop, and theologian in the Anglican church, once said, “In the end what matters is not how good we are but how good God is. Not how much we love Him but how much He loves us. And God loves us whoever we are, whatever we’ve done or failed to do, whatever we believe or can’t.”  

So often, we believe our faith is our own when it is, really, the outgrowth of prevenient grace working through the community of faith until we become aware of the holy in and around us all the time – from our first breath to our last.  With this in mind we sang the hymn “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” in worship this weekend, the lyrics reminding us that best of all, God is with us.

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well;
In a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell. 

When you heard the wonder of the Word, I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong.
If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one,
I’ll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk ‘till rising sun. 

In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,
I’ll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I’ve begun.
When the evening gently closes in, and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise. 

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.

This is how we are rooted in faith – through the love of God that is revealed most fully in our baptism.  It so comforting to think about how God has been with us each and every day of our lives, and that God will be there with love and care (and one more surprise) when our earthly days are done too.  There is no place we can hide ourselves from the overwhelming love of God, try as we might.  In confirmation, we celebrate the awareness of this truth – that God’s love has been at work behind the scenes and in our lives through the love of parents and families, the church, and the full community of faith to bring us to a place where we can say, “I get it, for myself.  God loves me.  I acknowledge this gift and will live my life accordingly.”  To God be the glory!

WRESTLING WITH THE WORD:  Mark 1:4-12 (Message)

  1. In worship this week, Pastor Abi shared four meanings of baptism in Methodism: cleansing of sin, initiation into the Church, incorporation into the body of Christ, and empowerment by the Holy Spirit. How do you see these meanings reflected in the passage?
  2. Why do you think Jesus needed to be baptized by John? What does that tell you about Christian community?
  3. In verse 8, John says he will baptize with water, but the one who comes after him will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
    1. What does water symbolize in baptism? Where else in the Bible has water been important? Consider stories like Noah’s Ark, Moses and the Red Sea, the water of Mary’s womb, etc.
    2. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in baptism? What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit?
  4. Why do you think it was important for Jesus and those present to hear the voice from heaven saying, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (v. 11)? How does it apply to our baptisms today?
  5. This week, two youths in our community confirmed their faith. How is their confirmation connected to their baptism and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives together?


  1. How do you experience God's grace?
  2. How might you extend grace to others?


Gracious God, with grateful hearts we acknowledge the significance of our Methodist roots.  We remember that you claim us as your beloved children in our baptism. Help us live with this awareness in our daily lives, both for ourselves and in how we treat others. Thank you for our church community and the role it plays in supporting our spiritual growth. May we also be a source of support and encouragement for others in our community. May our lives reflect your love and grace. We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Tags: baptism, confirmation, united methodist church, umc