Tuesday, May 20, 2008

8th Grade Graduation Sermon

Salem Lutheran Church, Gretna, LA
Text: Isa 65:1

In the name of + Jesus. Amen.

This year’s theme verse from Isaiah points out that we are not in charge. God is. For as many decisions as God leaves in our hands, He is ultimately the one calling the shots. He chose us as His people in Jesus Christ, even as He chose to bring these young people to where they would hear the Gospel as the basis of their education.

I know many of you parents can hardly believe your sons and daughters are headed to ninth grade already. For even without deciding to do so, without even trying, they grew. They grew not only physically, but intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually as well. God watches over them. God is in charge. There is great comfort in this.

Whether they have been here at Salem only a single year, or more than a decade, these young people are different than when they first arrived. And like you, many of their teachers can hardly believe their eyes at how they have grown and matured under God’s direction, under your parental love and care, and under the dedicated and loving work of the faculty, staff, and administration here at Salem.

And now, we have sung “This is the Feast of Victory” to celebrate not only their graduation, but our Lord’s victory over death and the grave. We have sung “Now Thank We All Our God” in gratitude for all the Lord has done for us. And finally, we will close with the hymn of praise to the Most Blessed Holy Trinity, the Doxology. We celebrate, we give thanks, and we praise the God who calls us, forgives our sins, and watches over us in Christ Jesus.

Dear graduates, you will no longer be in our classrooms, no longer our students, no more our discipuli. We are handing you off to other teachers under whose guidance you will continue to grow under the loving eyes of your heavenly Father. And though we are sad to see you go, we are happy to see you succeed, taking some of Salem with you no matter where the Lord takes you in His plan for your life.

Go with our blessings. Come and visit as our friends. We know that you will represent Salem with honor, with joy, and with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And as we prayed every day we were together, let us pray:

“I thank you, my Heaven Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that you would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me.” Amen.

V: Dominus vobiscum. (R: Et cum Spiritu tuo). Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

1 comment:

Family of Michael & Jen-Yi Paul said...

I apologize for this wrongly-placed comment, but I just read your comment on John Armstrong's blog regarding closed communion (I was directed there by Joel Brondos' blog) and wanted to say thank you for what I, at least, thought were well-composed and -expressed thoughts on the topic. Thank you for taking the time to do so!