In Luke 15, there are three parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost child. In all three parables, there is a call by either the shepherd, the woman, or the father to celebrate when what was lost had been found. The time of rejoicing and the call to gather together finds its way into every one of these parables. Notice, how these parables illustrate the worth of the one lost sheep, the one lost coin, and the one lost child. Tonight, God sees your worth and says come my children, find rest and celebration in me. Isn’t it wonderful how God calls all of us, but at the same time each one of us in our own special way.
Tonight, Jesus calls us to worship. Worship being defined not only as the music and praise, but the reading and exposition of the word, the fellowship, and the sending which will occur later in the charge to the graduates.
John 4:24 tells us “For God is a Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” In this moment, God invites us as the Urshan community, into his presence, into truth by his Spirit. Only in humility and humbleness can we walk into the presence of the almighty, who shields and hides our rags of filth in his pure and majestic holiness. How amazing and life changing it is when the Holy Ghost dwells within us and among us! What was once called unclean or unholy, is now made holy by the blood of Jesus Christ.
We should not walk in with pride, arrogance, or a heart which seeks selfish gain and pursuit. We must walk in as fillable and willing vessels, as those who seek to experience God in a new and profound way. It isn’t that we throw our problems aside, or forget who we are. We bring all of our being to God, because it is God who transforms and creates within us a new creation.
Tonight, we celebrate the community of believers, and especially celebrate graduation. But, we must remember it is God who invited us into this journey. The emphasis is not on the graduates, because to place the graduates in first position would be idolatry. The emphasis and core of this service is Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who began a work, and has completed the work. Jesus Christ deserves the praise, glory, and honor.
So as the father in the third parable in Luke 15 says, “… ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet…For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Let us tonight, celebrate Jesus Christ who calls us into his presence. With cap, gown, and diplomas let us bring worship to our creator. Let us celebrate as coworkers and partners in creation. Let us be changed and transformed. Let us be renewed and strengthened.
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