PREACHER’S POINT: To the graduates of 2020
By Timothy Johnson
We had the pleasure of attending my granddaughter Brooklynn’s High School Graduation Ceremony last week. The local homeschool group hosted the event. Our State Senator, Phil Boots, gave the speech.
In our area, some of the high schools have not yet held graduation. Others had online ceremonies. Still, others only allowed immediate family in the auditorium, masks, and social distancing were the norm.
For Brooklynn’s graduation, each family had to reserve the needed seats in advance. Each family had a row or rows assigned to them and a row of empty seats between each group. Masks were required. It goes without saying; it was a graduation ceremony like none I had ever witnessed.
Every graduate of every year has dreams and uncertainties in their heart as they walk that stage. Every adult looks at 2020, wags their head and thinks, “This year is crazy!” Our high school seniors are no different; now throw in the fact they are entering the adult world in the midst of all this.
Other generations have also met the leaving of school by entering a world filled with uncertainties.
My dad was to receive a perfect attendance award during his high school graduation. It was perfect attendance not for his senior year, but for first through twelfth grade. My father never missed a day of school in his life. However, he did not attend his graduation ceremony. Two days after his last day of school, and before graduation day, the US Army took him to basic training. It was the middle of WWII, and the world needed eighteen-year-old men to fight the Germans and the Japanese. Talk about uncertainty – my father’s generation left high school with a better than average possibility of not seeing their nineteenth birthday.
Today’s graduates, however, with reason, should have a gut feeling the world they have always known will not be the same.
My generation also witnessed change, but it was gradual over time. However, the graduates of 2020 do not know what 2030, or for that matter, 2021 will look like, but one thing is sure – 2019 will seem like ancient history in comparison.
My first word of advice to the class of 2020 is to grab ahold of God and not let go, no matter what.
While I was a teen, my cousin Pam and her family paid a visit. It happened to be the week of our county fair. Pam desired to walk through the haunted house. She is behind me; I could hardly breathe because of how tight she was grasping my shirt. She was scared to death, and she would not let me go. I am not advocating anyone to be afraid, but I encourage young people to be like Pam, except with God. Grab ahold of Him, and do not let go.
Faith in God is of utmost importance. Applying the truths that God is faithful, He is always there, that all things work for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose, will bring the peace that passes all understanding. If the world settles back into what we are used to, or if the events of this year bring about lasting change, or if we are at the beginning of a rapid slide toward the Apocalypse, God, and faith in Him will see you through this; whatever this is.
Here are the Bible passages I would leave with this year’s graduates:
Philippians 4:6-8, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Congratulations, and may God bless.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Mail: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638.
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