Summary: As Paul encouraged young Timothy, so a pastor encourages his young confirmation class to choose the right road and stay on the right road...to eternity.
Dear Members of Crown of Glory,
Dear Guests and Visitors here this morning,
and especially you, the Confirmation Class of 2003:
In just a few years, the seven of you will be taking another big step in your lives as you learn to drive a car. And sometimes when you are driving, especially out in the country, every once in a while the road that you are on ends and splits off into two different directions, and you have to make a decision. Are you going to follow the road this way, and are you going to go the opposite way on that fork in the road. And unless you have a lot of time to waste, you’d better make the right choice when you have those two options. If you choose the right road, you will get to your destination quickly with little stress. If you choose the wrong road, you’ll probably get lost, and at the very least, you’ll be frustrated because you wasted so much time taking the wrong road.
There are going to be times in your life when you aren’t even driving a car, and you have to make a decision about which road to take. “Should I go to the University of Florida in Gainesville, or should I go to a college up North?” These are two separate roads that you can take, but you can’t take them both, and the way that you choose is going to change your life forever.
Today is one of those days where you hit a fork in the road, and you have to choose which way you want to go. Up until this time, your parents made most of your religious choices for you. But that changes today, when you begin to be Christian young adults. You have to choose which way is the best for your life. And the two choices are very simple: you can choose to go through life with God’s help, knowing that he loves you and is always going to take care of you, and that he will take you to heaven…or you can choose the other road. On the other road you decide how you are going to live your life. On this road you don’t want God’s help; you think you can make it by on your own. And on this road, you aren’t sure what is going to happen at the end of your life. Now it is sad that many many people choose this road, because they think it brings them freedom. They don’t have to listen to God or obey him. You will run into a lot of people in the next years of your life who are on this road.
But of course, you are here, sitting in the front row on Confirmation Sunday, because you want to take the other road, the right road, the road that leads to happiness and eventually heaven. Later in the service, I will ask you to publicly declare What road you are going to take? It is my prayer, and the prayer of the congregation, as well as the entire Christian Church, that you 1. Choose the Right Road! and 2. Continue on the Right Road!
We have all heard of St. Paul. He was a person who started off on the wrong road, and by the grace of God he found the right road. And Paul dedicated his life to getting others to follow him on that right road. One person who listened to Paul and respected him was a young man named Timothy. There was a reason that Timothy was so receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Paul proclaimed: Timothy had been on that right road for a while already.
When Paul met Timothy, young Timothy didn’t know everything. But he had been given a good foundation from his family. As far as we can tell, Timothy’s father wasn’t much of a believer, but Timothy’s mother and grandmother were people were looking for the Savior to come into the world. From early on, they taught Timothy about Adam and Eve, about the Fall into Sin, about the promises that God made to Abraham, as well as all the other Bible stories. Our text says, “you have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood.” From his first days here on earth, Timothy’s mother and grandmother knew that the most important thing they could do for this little boy was teach him about the Lord. These grownups taught Timothy that the Holy Bible is the most important book ever written, because the words in their talked about the Savior who will bring all believers to heaven.
You seven students aren’t just my students, you are also my friends. And you aren’t just my friends, you are also my family. We are in the same family because you had grownups in your life who cared enough about you to bring you to be Baptized when you were a baby, they brought you to Sunday School, and they brought you to Catechism class, where we studied the Holy Bible. There, we learned that we were once part of another family, Satan’s. He wanted to drag us down to hell with him. But Jesus’ love overcame the devil’s hatred on the Cross at Calvary. Your parents made sure that they put you on the road that leads to eternal life with Jesus.