To our high school graduates: Jacob Bone, Will Daniel, Catherine Keith, Noah McCreary, Preston Pierce, Ashley Svalina, Emma Thompson, and Liz Wiltsey,
Graduating high school is no small accomplishment. Just because it has been set as an expectation does not mean that it was guaranteed to happen or that it would be an easy place for you to arrive. So when we say congratulations, we mean it! A lot of older people in this room have already experienced what you are experiencing today.
We get it. But we also, don’t get it. You are surrounded by people who know the last four years of your life were demanding and ex-hausting. However, we can’t fully put ourselves in your shoes. For example, the academic load you’ve been asked to carry is more chal-lenging than what we had to bear. Also, the cultural norms that en-compass you are very uncharacteristic of our day. You may possibly feel tugged in many different directions, and we are but one of many of your relationships that have influenced your worldview.
Even though there may be a few differences between us, the weight of what we have in common in Christ far surpasses the sum of them all. Just think of the hope, grace, and joy we all have because of what Jesus has done for us! It is those similarities that will keep your chin up and your eyes looking forward with great expectations. When you realize we share in an eternal salvation you will take in a deep breath of joy. When you realize we are all worse sinners than we think, yet loved greater than we could imagine, you will feel less like an outcast and more like one of the family. In a time in your life where you’re probably more excited about your independence than you ever have been, do not neglect the benefits of wisdom, mentor-ing, and support you can receive through God’s family.
Rejoice as you think about your future, because the Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you! You cannot escape from His love. He has great plans for you, and you can trust that He will bring to completion the good work He began in you.
God loves you and so does your church family!