Building a “God Sightings” foundation into your confirmation program can be a powerful way to help students be in tune to the work of God in their lives. If we call them to be on the look out for moments when God has played a hand in people, places, and events, we provide them with the opportunity for incredible insight into knowing that God is there by their side.
This lesson is perfect for the first meeting of a confirmation program. Consider making it a practice to build “God Sightings” into all subsequent lessons by providing a time in every class for confirmation candidates to share where they saw God in the last week.
Background: Seeing = Believing
Seeing is believing. In the Bible, this metaphor is used several times. Someone who can “see” means that they believe or have faith. The most prominent use of this metaphor is in story of the healing of the blind man. Just like the blind man, we struggle “to see” God. We are blinded by the wickedness, evil, disease, and death that surrounds us. We question how a good and benevolent God would allow such hardships. After Jesus heals him, the blind man can now “see” and be a witness to deep faith in God.
Scripture: Healing the Blind Man John [9:1-39]
Option 1: Read together the full Biblical passage John 9:1-39
Option 2: Show this picture and read the shortened version John 9:25
A man who has been blind since birth approaches Jesus. Jesus applies some mud to his eyes. Then he tells the man to wash it off.
“He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!'”
Discussion of Scripture
Give Quick Recap of Story:
Powerful words said by the blind man: I was blind but now I see!
Scripture often uses sight as a metaphor for faith!
- If you SEE you have faith.
- So blindness means little faith.
- This man had probably never heard of Jesus before this encounter with him. He had no faith or awareness of Jesus,
- But now through the power of Jesus, he can “see”. He has gained faith!
Questions to Ask the Class:
- How much faith do you have in God?
- Do you have spiritual blindness?
- What things make you blind from seeing God? [possible answers: evil, disease, death]
- Can you see God acting in your life?
- Can you spot God in everyday moments of your life?
Story of the Drowning Man
Show the picture below to your students. Then read the story out loud asking the students to reflect on how it relates to the Scripture.
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
Where Have You Seen God in the Last Week?
The goal of confirmation preparation is to help you see God in your life. What events have happened in the last week that have tuned you in to the many ways that God appears and works in our lives?
- someone who made a difference in your day
- something that happened that was more than just a coincidence
- something you witnessed that made you see that God is alive
- did you see God in something bad that you experienced
My God Sighting Story
As a catechist, it is important to share a personal story about a God Sighting. The students are usually spell bound and very inspired when they see how we recognize God in our lives.
This is one of my God Sighting stories:
When my mom’s health was failing, she mentioned that she would like to have my baby sister Mary Ann listed as a child in her obituary. Mary Ann had died as a newborn baby after only several days of life We were surprised by this request. With 9 total children, we didn’t think that Mary Ann’s life was something that weighed on her mind. We didn’t realize that Mary Ann had a special place in my mom’s heart.
At my mom’s graveside service, the funeral home director released a dove near the conclusion of the prayer service. The dove was trained to fly directly back to the funeral home in a neighboring town. Well the dove circled once around the cemetery and then flew directly to a tree above baby Mary Ann’s grave. We are not sure how long it stayed there. It was still in the tree when we left the cemetery. We took the event as a God Sighting.