Psalm 37:1-11; 39-40
Exhortation to Patience and Trust Of David.
1 Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers, 2 for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there. 11 But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity…
39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in the time of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
In our Lutheran tradition, Affirmation of Baptism (also known as Confirmation) is a rite of passage. After years of instruction and activities, usually during the middle school years, the young men and women gather with their families and loved ones and make public affirmation of their baptism. In other words, these students are making the promises made at the baptismal font when they were baptized their own. These promises were made by parents and sponsors (Godparents is the term we have used in the past). These promises include worship, studying scripture, lessons of the creeds and Lord’s Prayer and the commandments, and living a life as a child of God.
One of my favorite elements of this service is the opportunity to present the student with a Bible verse selected just for him or her. This tradition has been around for decades. I have had the opportunity when preparing for some funerals to come across the Bible verse selected for that person. It is a great reminder of the promises of baptism and the affirmation of a life lived as one of God’s beloved.
Over the years, I have compiled a list of verses to choose from. I have found that over a couple years of classes with the students, a Bible verse is often easily selected.
Psalm 37 speaks of trust in God. Following God’s ways.
Another passage that comes to mind when I think of trust is Proverbs 3:5-6:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
This is one of those verses that has been selected for a particular student quite often. If you look at the verse closely, I am pretty sure you can imagine the kind of free-spirited student who might receive such a verse. I am reminded of Michael in my first years of ministry who needed to be reigned in from time to time. I clearly remember asking him on more than one occasion as he was being “less than cooperative” if what he was doing at that time was a good idea or a bad idea. Taking time to look beyond his own insight is what was needed, and often it helped. Sometimes it didn’t!
There are times in our lives we need to hear these words. And in these days that we find ourselves, we don’t so much need a straight path. We need A path. Another event canceled and crossed off the calendar.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
God will make a way. Turn to the Lord and trust the Lord. God hasn’t abandoned us. God will NEVER abandon us. God still shows up, and continues to bless us today, and promises to be with us tomorrow.
I am sure you need to hear that, just like I do. It will be healing for your flesh and refreshment for your body.
It is a good idea!
May this be YOUR confirmation verse today.
Let us pray:
O Lord, I trust you with my whole heart. I acknowledge you and will follow you on the straight path you place before me. May my walk with you be healing and refreshment. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior. Amen.