I am getting ready to teach a confirmation class.
I have been pondering just what sort of information the young people need to be taught, what experiences would we especially provacative and what projects would spur their imagination.
But the real objective is to help these fabulous young people answer one question and one alone.
To whom do you belong?
We can belong to a family, a club, a sweetheart, a team, a church. To "belong" not only implies privileges, it evokes responsibility and commitment.
But in each of these instances, the idea of "ownership" is not part of the deal. We would say, "That car belongs to me," but we would never want to be "owned" by anyone or anything. We want to be free agents, in control of our own lives.
But when we declare, "I belong to the LORD," there is a sense of being "owned" by our God. God has power and authority over all of our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Belonging to God demands something of me. "I belong to the LORD," therefore, I cannot belong to any other god. God's faithfulness to me demands my faithfulness to God. It changes everything--every choice, every moment, every other commitment.
The Brief Statement of Faith of the PCUSA sums it up like this:
In life and in death, we belong to God.
For me, I find great comfort in the phrase, "I belong to the LORD." I am one of his children. I am one of his sheep. I am one of his beloved ones for whom he has died.