2015 Confirmation

“God is the God of the ridiculous.”

Upon first sight, this statement might make you cringe a bit. Maybe it conflicts with your own personal view of God and His character. Maybe it simply sounds funny as you let the words roll across your tongue. Read it again.

“God is the God of the ridiculous.”

God Himself is not ridiculous; rather, He uses the mundane, the miraculous, and yes, even the ridiculous in order to reveal Himself to His people.

This idea arose during Confirmation at BelPres this year. During one of the sessions, 18 Middle School students found themselves discussing the story of the fall of Jericho, wondering why God asked the Israelites to march around its walls seven times in order to bring them down and deliver the city into their hands. After a moment of pondering over the story, one student commented that God’s instructions seemed a bit ridiculous. At this open and honest remark, Reverend Rich Leatherberry replied, “Well the thing we have to remember is that God is, in fact, the God of the ridiculous.”

Yes, He most certainly is. Our God is the God who split the Red Sea, who walked on water, and who called His disciples to cast their nets towards hearts rather than fish. When He walked on this earth, our God defied the social norms of His time by welcoming children unto Himself, saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

In some small yet significant way, I believe that this year’s Confirmation Class honored that command. During this seven-week class, 18 Middle School students were given the chance to explore their faith, ask tough questions, and ultimately, grow deeper in their personal relationships with Christ. These exceptional students tackled a wide range of topics, such as the Trinity, the problem of sin, and the sacraments of baptism and communion. Undoubtedly, the highlight of Confirmation took place during the final session, when the students shared their thoughtfully and beautifully-written personal faith statements with Elders of the church. We cherish these students and their stories so deeply, and were thrilled to present them to the congregation as new members of Bellevue Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 14.

So when I remember that God is the God of the ridiculous, I can’t help but smile. I smile because I can just picture Him getting down on His knees, looking these students in the eyes, and revealing Himself to them right where they’re at; meeting them in their questions, doubts, fears, and hopes. Only a God who “made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness,” would meet us in this way (Phil. 2:7). In the same way that He brought down the walls of Jericho thousands of years ago, so too has He already begun to, and will continue to, break down walls in these students’ lives in beautifully perfect and ridiculous ways.

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