This is the time of year when we celebrate graduations. And in all of these graduations, robes may be worn, diplomas or certificates are given, and family and friends may say things, like "Congratulations," "I am proud of you," and "We love you."
Many of the graduates are experiencing the joy and happiness of reaching this milestone in their lives, the anticipation of a new beginning filled with limitless possibilities, and maybe even the relief in knowing that "I won't have to study for all those tests any more." Yet, there may also be feelings of anxiety associated with not knowing exactly what the future may hold, sadness in leaving home for the first time or in leaving the structured environment of learning the provided security and stability in life, or fear that "I may not have the gifts and tools to be a success, even though I have studied so hard." "Will I be successful?" "What does the future hold?" All of these questions and others are ones associated with graduation time.
As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to times of graduation many times in our journey with Him as His disciples. There is the graduation from: following Jesus because our parents want us to, to following Him because we want to; from thinking worship is all about us and our needs to knowing that worship is about God who will meet our needs in and through worship; from being comfortable in our faith to being challenged to learn more; from living as Sunday morning Christians to striving to grow into 24/7 Christians living the Christian life each day; from rigidity to openness; from taking to giving; from weakness to strength; from despair to hope; and from having a human heart to having a heart filled with the love of Christ. Graduation time in our journey with the Lord is a time to experience the joy of our spiritual growth in His name.
What graduation time are you experiencing in your faith journey? To what is the Lord calling you to graduate from so you might experience Him more fully in you life?
This Sunday we will honor our graduates we will celebrate with them and send them off with our blessing into whatever their future endeavors may bring.
May this Sunday be a time of graduation in each of our lives, too, as we are filled with the Holy Spirit anew and sent forth as "new graduates" in His name.