The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


One for you, one for me

We keep our favorite Bible verses by giving them away

Our daughter is confirming her faith in a couple weeks. We still have to figure out what she's going to wear and we need to order the cake for the post-confirmation reception at church. But there's an even more important task that awaits us — selecting a Bible verse to "give" our daughter for her confirmation.

© istockphoto.com/MKUCOVAWe hope this Scripture gift, unlike a necklace or CD, will not outwear its use. Picking just the right verse is such an important and exciting task. In doing so, we consider our daughter's faith and personality, we remember her baptism and we imagine her future. What verse might help her when she's a foreign correspondent (it could happen)? What verse will she appreciate finding from us after we're gone?

The quest to find a confirmation verse for our daughter sends us thumbing through our Bibles, stopping at many of our favorites. We're even recalling verses our parents taught us by repeating them at random times. "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24). Should we go for Jesus' words or a Pauline text? How about something from Isaiah or the Psalms? In confirmation our daughter learned: "The Bible is not a history book or a science text. It's a sacred text." Which sacred verse would resonate for decades with her?

Our daughter still talks about the day she visited the state capital with our pastor and her confirmation class for Faith Advocacy Day. She clearly noticed the connection between faith and action that day as she listened to our state representatives and our governor, a person of faith. Makes us think of this choice: "What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).

She sang a solo in church one Sunday. Her lovely voice surprised even herself. She looked up at the high church windows and blinked back the tears. What did she see as she looked up there? The generations, perhaps. The Spirit. Ah, maybe we should choose this Pentecost text: "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughter shall prophesy..." (Acts 2:17).

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