Confirmation 2017: Walk beside me and be my friend.



Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.

Walk beside me and be my friend.

These words by the French author and existentialist Albert Camus truly speaks to the Gospel today:  this wonderful story about a walk and a meal.  About a talk and a faith. About these two disciples in doubt and despair who found their way, their faith and their courage as Christ walked beside them as a friend.

The words of Camus even more relate to the beloved old Psalm 23:

Even if I walk in darkness and through the darkest of valleys, I will fear no evil for you are with me….

We walk through life.

Sometimes alone, sometimes with others.

We walk through time.

Sometimes we don’t know the way, sometimes we do.

We walk with determination and directions and sometimes we don’t and we get lost, meet dead ends or need to make a U-turn.

We walk, and it is vital who we meet on our way and who we listen to.  

The two disciples walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus, they walked from despair and disappointed to joy and faith.

On their way, they were talking about all the things that had happened through the Easter Week; they talked about all the horrible things that had happened to their friend and leader Jesus; they talked about the joy of Palm Sunday, the meaningful last supper, and the horrible long Friday of suffering when Jesus was crucified. They talked about how they had all fled and deserted him, how they were all afraid and didn’t know what to do, what to believe. They talked about the impossible stories that the women told and some of the disciples. That they had seen the empty tomb and they had encounter an angel. What did all this mean? And could they believe? Did they dare to believe?

 Then someone walked beside them as their friend, talking, listening, asking questions, and sharing their loss and lack of direction. And that friend stayed with them, shared a meal with them and when he finally broke the bread, they recognized him as their beloved leader and savior Jesus Christ, who had been with them all the way…..  And they found their way, their faith, and their courage to walk on….

It is one of the most beautiful stories from the New Testament, as it shows how we need to walk, to move, to ask questions, and how we often cannot  hear and see what is right in front of us.

1.   Sometimes we need to go for a walk truly to recognize the beauty of the creation and nature that we are blessed to be part of every day of our lives.

2.   Sometimes we need to sit down, turn of our IPhone or other distracting devises in order truly to see and hear who is right in front of us. To find real facetime!

3.   Sometimes we need to be quit and listen to our friends advise, our deeper con-sciousness or even our mothers voice.

4.   Sometimes we need to eat and drink to recognize and feel the presence of something bigger, brighter, and more divine among us.

5.   Sometimes we need to walk to the church and into the church and take the time to listen, to pray, to eat and drink, for us to recognize that we indeed do not walk alone. That we do rely on each other, in family and friendship, in fellowship and faith.

6.   Sometimes we need to confirm our faith: that we do trust that God walks with us as a true friend, through the brightest Sundays and the darkest Mondays, through the sweetest moments and the most bitter times, through despair and doubt, through hope and faith.


A good friend once shared with me a beautiful legend about an ancient King in an ancient Kingdom, who in all his glorious majestic insight and power decided to set aside a special day to honor this greatest subject in his Kingdom. When the big day arrived, there was a large gathering in the palace. Four finalist were brought forward, and from these four, the king would select the winner. The first person presented was a wealthy philanthropist. The king was told that his man was highly deserving of the honor, because of his humanitarian effort and help; he had given most of his wealth to the poor.The second person was a celebrated physician. The king was told that this doctor was highly deserving of the honor, because he had dedicated his service to the heal sick and wounded. The third person was a distinguished judge. The king was told that the judge was worthy, because he was noted for his wisdom, his fairness, and his brilliant decisions. The fourth person was an elderly woman. Everyone including the king was surprised to see her. She was simple, humble, plain, - and yet there was something about the look of love & understanding in her eyes and her quiet confidence. The King was intrigued and puzzled and he asked who she was. The answer was: “You see the philanthropist, the doctor and the judge – well she was their teacher!”


How often do we miss the value of those around us, those closest to us, those we almost take for granted?  Those who form us, shape us and made us who we are? Our lives and days and ways are truly formed by the ones who walk with us, talk with us, and stay with us.

How often do we miss the very presence of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit, in the nature, in the stranger, in our encounters, in our family and in the fellowship?

How often do we walk in despair or in blindness, eagerly trying to understand or find our way…? And then someone comes and walks with us.

It can be a real person of flesh and blood walking with us, a friend a family member or a teacher.

It can also be the memory of a dear friend or lost family member, who walks with us and talks to us, in mind and soul.

It can be the presence of God, through prayer or silence, through questioning or listening, - if we dare to be open to the guidance and presence.

Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.

Walk beside me and be my friend.


Jesus, the roadway of heaven you show

Leading to life and fulfillment

Heaven’s our goal, but the earth is our way

Here you are walking beside us.

Lord of the heavens, come show us the road now and give us the courage to walk it!









Confirmation Speech:

Dear Confirmands – dear families, friends and congregations!

This is a beautiful day of joy, commitment, faith and hope. It is your day – so don’t let it get away, but enjoy it and embrace it!

There are seven days in the week, seven colors in the rainbow, seven continents of the world, seven hills of Rome, and seven wonders of the ancient world. There are seven days in the story of Creation – and today there are seven confirmands! The seven wonderful Confirmands of 2017: Asger, Benjamin, Elias, Bianca, Nikole, Maddie and Frederikke: you are truly 7 wonderful confirmands. You have been a true delight to get to know and you have given me great hope for your future and the church’s too.

You have been a delight! You have come from all directions: Palm Springs, San Marcos, Ladera Ranch, Corona, Valencia and San Fransisco!

You walked into the Confirmation Classes with curiosity, questions, openness, and sincerity. You have accepted your differences, and have shared your similarities. You have shared your stories of the hardship and the joy of growing up: friendship &, family. We have talked about bullying and suicide. You have been very good listeners and very good questioners – great traits on your way through adolescence and aspiring adulthood.

And you have walked together. Literally – we have walked our faith walk as we have been walking our Lord’s Prayer and The Apostle Creed here in church… when you had to find your way through the old words, find the right order and find your faith.

You have walked into this church and made it yours. With confidence and clear voices, you have prayed the opening and closing prayers when asked – and you were in charge of one service with focus on creation and human responsibility.

You have walked into your faith through our conversations and readings, through stories and creeds – and you have found that this church is yours!

You have found time and opportunity to be here… and a big thank you to your parents who diligently have tried to juggle all the soccer games, school assignments, scouts, football, crafts, skating, volleyball, and the distances to travel by car or by plane or to meet in SKYPE…. THANK YOU!

So, dear Confirmands – please look at your parents and be grateful that you have wonderful supporting parents who truly wants to support you as they are able and provide the best opportunity for you. They were the ones cheering on your when you took your first step, and they will be cheering your every step!

And look at your families and friends, and your congregation, - we are all here to celebrate you, congratulate you, salute you and support you – because today is a very important step in your walk-through life.

You make a choice today, you say a load and confident YES to all you believe in: God and goodness, Jesus and joy, Holy Spirit, and Hope. It matters what you do believe in, it matters what you choose, - and today is your choice and even more God confirmation of his faith in you – that you are indeed his blessed beloved children!

This is the latest issue of Time Magazine with is annual 100 most influential people: actor Viola Davis, singer Ed Sheeran, President Trump and President Putin, soccer player Neymar & snapchat visionary Evan Spiegel. And then there is one Dane!

Margrethe, it is. Not our queen, but Margrethe Vestager, a Danish European Commissioner or as she is called Europe’s Antitrust Warrior. She has investigated the tax affairs of Starbucks, Amazon, and Google, - and she has been filled with courage to stand up for her ideals and ideas. It said: She bases all of her decisions on the values that are close to hear heart” Margrethe Vestager is the daughter of not just one pastor but of two – and her Christian values have marked and shaped her ways, her choices, and her courage too.  Even someone from a small kingdom like Denmark can make it to the list of 100 most influential people. And she made it on a positive note….

I don’t know if you will ever be on that list – but I do know and believe that you have the right ingredients of courage, commitment, compassion, integrity, intelligence, and humor…. to find your way in life founded on values taught by your parents and taught by your faith.

So please, find the present under your seat …. and open it! And Wear it! It is red for passion, love and Denmark! And it reads the blessing that was marked on your life at your baptism and repeated today: That you will never walk alone – God is with you every step of the way! 

Dear Seven Wonder Confirmands!

Congratulations and keep walking, talking, wondering, questioning, believing, and hoping.

Disse smukke unge mennesker, gid de laenge leve maa!