The age at which we started teaching confirmation in Estevan was the age Manasseh was when he began his reign as king. Poor kid! In our course, it took us a few months to go through the history of the people of Israel, and it went something like this: Israelites are faithful to God, things go well. Israelites fall away, things go badly. Israelites became faithful again, things improve. The pattern became pretty clear. If only Manasseh had the opportunity to take this simple survey course of his people’s history first, his resum might have improved! The fact is, though, that things are never quite that simple.
How about us? Sometimes survey courses don’t cut it. It is still by living all the ups and downs of life, the complicated twists and turns that we never would have dreamt possible till we were there, that we learn what we need. At Manasseh’s lowest point we read, “He humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors.” (verse 12) Then God heard him. I don’t think it is just that God’s ego needed this king to be humble, but also that God’s world needed that humility.
God of nations, we pray for community leaders, leaders of nations and leaders of churches: give them humility, compassion and wisdom. Teach us all, that we may live well in your complicated world. Amen. — VF