Scripture Reading for May 1, 2011

Proverbs 8.32-38

And now, my children, listen to me:
   happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
   and do not neglect it.
Happy is the one who listens to me,
   watching daily at my gates,
   waiting beside my doors. 
For whoever finds me finds life
   and obtains favor from the Lord;
but those who miss me injure themselves;
   all who hate me love death.’

Proverbs 24.13-14
My child, eat honey, for it is good,
   and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
   if you find it, you will find a future,
   and your hope will not be cut off.



May 1st is Confirmation Sunday. Confirmation at Plymouth is an important rite of passage for our youth.  It involves an intentional examination of the story of our origin, the Christian story, the Congregational story, the Plymouth Church story and finally, one’s personal faith story.  We realize that every young person is at a different place on their spiritual journey. We know that developmentally ninth graders are just beginning to explore the difficult questions of faith. During the Confirmation rite, we as a congregational are affirming our promise to walk with them on their spiritual journey. The students are confirming that they are indeed open to continuing the journey.

I invite you to reflect on your own spiritual journey. Where has it taken you? What has changed over the years in your spiritual life? What has made the most impact? What advice would you give these ninth graders?

Rev. Dr. Paula Northwood
Minister of Education
Plymouth Congregational Church



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Plymouth Congregational Church is a progressive faith community grounded in the Christian tradition. We are spiritual, loving, relevant and transforming.
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2 Responses to Scripture Reading for May 1, 2011

  1. Charles Matson Lume says:

    My response here is stated after the service rather than before.

    Honey and harps. Eat and listen. God wants us to participate in the awe-filling beauty of this world. It may not be all the time, but she wants/desires that we experience her richness.

    The honey was in the scripture reading and the harp (duet) was at the end of the Sunday service. Both are (were) exquisite! How can we keep from singing?

  2. Karen Barstad says:

    When I was confirmed in 1970, the Bible passage that was the basis for Pastor Blair’s sermon was Matthew 7:13–14. It reads: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

    For years I’ve frowned on those verses, because they seemed too exclusive. I heard them say that if you didn’t fit the prescribed definition of a Christian, if you didn’t believe or act correctly, you wouldn’t make it into God’s kingdom. Recently, however, I discovered a new way to interpret these verses. If we enter through a narrow gate, then we can’t be carrying a lot of baggage. We won’t be able to squeeze through if we’re weighed down by a lot of stuff. Therefore, we have to shed our preconceived notions about who God is, what God believes (as if we could ever know that!), and what God expects of God’s people. We almost have to be naked – baring our souls – as we begin our individual journeys of faith.

    Therefore, my advice to Plymouth’s confirmands is this: Keep an open heart and an open mind. Don’t get dragged down by dogma and certainty. Allow yourselves to change your minds – often – as you travel the path of faith. You’ll find everything you need along the way.

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