Commencement!

2 Aug

Graduation. It is an accomplishment at any level. As the education level in this country continues to decline in general, and with many people thinking that the “school of hard knocks” is superior to the education one acquires at a college, the general number of people participating in a graduation celebration is decreasing. While I personally have participated in six celebrations, the thing that struck me most was about the second or third one, where I realized, it was called a Commencement Celebration.

I am familiar enough with the English language that I know the commence means to begin. I am also familiar enough with the graduation celebration to realize that most people view it as a celebration of that which has already happened. And while a good ceremony will look at the accomplishment and the fact that it is really something about which we should be happy, a great ceremony also points out that the celebration is only worthwhile if that acquired knowledge actually is used to be beneficial.

Despite the fact that most commencement ceremonies occurred months ago, this has been on my mind recently, because many of my people are celebrating the excitement of having been blessed with a new building. A good dedication service would have spoken to the profundity of the accomplishment. A great service would have spoken to the fact that while it is a worthy celebration, it pales in comparison to the consideration of the great things that will happen.

Much like graduation, a dedication could be called a commencement celebration. To slightly misquote Myra Fleener, it is sad when you see someone whose graduation recognizes the end of the “glory days.” Similarly, no dedication should recognize the facility being built as the end of the “glory days.” This is why I am so excited that we had a Great Dedication, where we recognized the accomplishment and the fact that the accomplishment must springboard us to further accomplishments.

So from henceforth, every time I am invited to, attend, or otherwise recognize a graduation, I will not only think of the times I graduated and how I must walk worthy of those things I’ve been given, but I will also think of the fact that we need to realize that in dedicating the building, our church must walk worthy of its gifts. To whom much is given, much is required!

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