Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Seize Those Teaching Moments

Every Christian is equipped to teach and encourage their brothers and sisters in the faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. We should eagerly seek out and seize these teaching moments to lift up our neighbors and serve them. In particular, it is the duty of the whole church to care, guide, and nurture our young confirmands as they grow as disciples of Christ. Do not treat them as an irritation and do not ignore them because of their age. It is quite easy to reenforce sound doctrine. If you pay attention, you will be shocked how easy this is! It always surprises me how the Holy Spirit takes over when you open up and seek to help these little ones see Jesus. These situations do not have to be forced or fabricated at all. The course of any conversation between two Christians will eventually turn to Christ.

Here is a small example on a fairly difficult topic.

Confirmand: "Hey, wow, I didn't know that you were in the Army. Are you in the Army?"
Soldier: "Yes."
Confirmand: "Really? Isn't that scary?"
Soldier: "I don't think so."
Confirmand: "Have you gone to Iraq?"
Soldier: "Not yet."
Confirmand: "Do you want to go?"
Soldier: "Yes. That's why I joined. To go and serve."
Confirmand: "....and you aren't nervous or scared."
Soldier: "No. What should I be afraid of?"
Confirmand: "Like, snakes and guns."
Soldier: "Aren't there snakes and guns here, too?"
Confirmand: "...but you could die."
Soldier: "Yes. That could happen."
Confirmand: "Sorry. I didn't mean to make the nervous worse."
Soldier: "Don't worry. You didn't. You haven't said anything that I have no already thought about."
Confirmand: "I guess we could die here, too. Like just walking down the street."
Soldier: "That is true, but it is a rare thing around here."
Confirmand: "So you really aren't scared?"
Soldier: "Of death? No. I have no reason to be afraid."
Confirmand: "..."
Soldier: "Let me ask you a question, [Confirmand]. As a Christian, what is there for me to fear about death?"
Confirmand: "Nothing."
Soldier: "Correct. With faith in Christ, death does not need to terrify us. 'To live is Christ--faith and service, and to die is gain--heaven.' We have no reason to fear death. It has no power over us. We live according to God's will and His timing. We live by faith until the Father calls us home."
Confirmand: "That's right."
Soldier: "..."
Confirmand: "....I would still be scared though."
Soldier: "And that is perfectly okay. Emotions of fear and caution can be a healthy thing. It keeps you safe and protects you. But fear should not control your life. And not everyone is called to be a Soldier. But all Christians are called to serve. We call it your 'vocation'."

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