(For Torrey graduation, May 25, 2012)
Father God, we bring these seniors, this class of 2012, to you today. We lift them up before you, and call their names in your presence, and call on your name in their presence.
Because this is the moment of the handoff. We are passing them on to you. Here. Take them.
Just four years ago their parents handed them off to us when they arrived at Biola, and we came to know and love them for this crucial, critical, crazy season. For four years we have taught them and learned with them, prayed for them and prayed with them, challenged them and been challenged by them. We did our best, or something close enough to our best to get them here. They did their best, or something close enough to their best to get them here.
We taught them to strive for excellence, mostly by inspiring example, but occasionally by cautionary counter-example. We taught them to forgive, mainly by modelling grace and patience to them, but occasionally by giving them something to forgive us for. And now our time is over, and we’re handing them off to you with real joy, and real relief, and real satisfaction.
Sovereign Father, do your best for them. You have already loved them so much that you gave your only Son for them, and your Holy Spirit to them. How shall he who gave his dear Son not likewise give them all things necessary?
May their love abound in knowledge and discernment, so they may approve what is excellent, and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. May their knowledge run deep, and be real, and have force. May their love be smart, may their love love the right things the right way. May their love hold fast to the good, rather than fixating on the wrong things, may it weigh things accurately, rather than undervaluing the good or overvaluing the trivial. May their love distinguish between what doesn’t matter, what does matter, and what matters most. Give them minds for what matters most.
Lord, save them! Lead them not into cockiness, but deliver them from pride. Lead them not into trivial pursuits, but deliver them from sloth. Lead them not into compromise, but deliver them from lies. Lead them not into embarrassment, but deliver them from shame. Save them from prayerlessness, loneliness, purposelessness, filthiness; from worldliness, from unworldliness, from always learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.
Here they are, here is the handoff. They need to be handed off. More, they need to be received. Thank you that you are faithful and true to take them from our hands and gather them in your arms.
In Jesus’ name, Amen