I am excited about this upcoming Sunday as more than 70 of our young people are making a public profession of faith in Christ and joining the Church. For approximately six months these students have been learning who God is and how Christ offered his life on the Cross—revealing the depth of God’s love and how God is present in our lives through the Holy Spirit. They’ve been studying the Church and what it means to be a member. Over the last two – three weeks, the clergy members have spent time with them, making sure they understand this important step in their faith journeys and, today, it will all come together.
I can’t help but think back to when I joined the Church. I remember being aware of the importance of the decision and knowing it would have a lasting impact on my life. However, I never imagined that God would call me into the ordained ministry and that I would spend my life pastoring churches all across the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. I sometimes wonder how different my life would have been had I not taken that step to join the Church.
Here at DUMC, some of us have been members for over 40 years. For others, it has been just a few months. Yet, at some point you said, “Yes,” to Christ and that decision profoundly impacted your life. Perhaps it has changed the way you relate to your families, to others and how you interact in the professional world. In other ways maybe it has led you into leadership positions at our church. In some cases, you are trying to discern exactly what God has planned in your life, but you know that in some strange way God is at work leading you to a place you are yet to discover. I can’t help but wonder, “What if you never made that decision?”
It gives me great joy to see the young people who will stand at the altar Sunday and the ripple effects that moment will have on their lives. What chain reaction will this moment set in motion? How might they become witnesses for Christ? How many lives will be impacted through them? How might this community be different because they stood before their church family, committing their lives to Christ and becoming part of the Church?
Obviously, we can’t know the answers today, but the simple fact is—if they will let Christ continue to guide them, then they are standing at the edge of the most exciting journey.
On Sunday, April 28, as these students take their vows and make their commitments, I invite you to reflect on the vows and commitments you made when you became a part of the Church. Even more, please pray for each one of them to live into all that God has dreamed.
See you on Sunday for this exciting day.