"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
The verse above is my life verse-my theme verse that reminds me that God is always on the scene. I felt this would be a good reminder to get us ready for our service this Sunday and also connect us to graduations. Many families and individuals are celebrating commencement ceremonies this week, so let me share part of a commencement ceremony from Harvard University a few years ago.
Rev. Peter Gomes spoke an unvarnished message to the graduating class: "You are going to be sent out of here for good, and most of you aren't ready to go. The president is about to bid you into the fellowship of educated men and women and, (and here he paused and spoke each word slowly for emphasis) you know just - how - dumb - you -really - are."
The senior class cheered in agreement.
"And worse than that," Doctor Gomes continued, "the world - and your parents in particular - are going to expect that you will be among the brightest and best. But you know that you can no longer fool all the people even some of the time. By noontime today, you will be out of here. By tomorrow you will be history. By Saturday, you will be toast. That's a fact - no exceptions, no extensions."
"Nevertheless, there is reason to hope," Doctor Gomes promised. "The future is God's gift to you. God will not let you stumble or fall. God has not brought you this far to this place to ABANDON you or leave you here alone and afraid. The God of Israel never stumbles, never sleeps, never goes on sabbatical. Thus, my beloved and bewildered young friends, do not be afraid."
That's the theme of scripture: Fear Not! The older I get, the more I find I need to be reminded of this truth.
See you Sunday when we'll remember together!