June is the month of graduation for many students who have completed their final year of high school.
Last night I had the privilege of attending my granddaughter's Commencement ceremony.
Each graduate had their moment on centre stage.
Their achievements, awarded bursaries, scholarships were noted as well as their plans for the future or their goals, the presentation of their diplomas and an official photo.
The valediction, well chosen for his oratory skills, pointed out that the word Commencement did not indicate the 'end' of something but rather the 'beginning'.
There was also a theme of 'freedom' - freedom from school rules, homework, exams, etcetera,
They could now embrace the freedom of choosing their own life path;
decisions, choices would be their own.
As I sat listening and watching I realized how this paralleled another 'graduation' facing all of us.
One day we will 'graduate' from this earthly life
and people will gather to remember our journey.
We call the service a funeral, or a memorial or celebration of life....
but I have never heard it called a commencement.
And yet, would that not be an appropriate name ?
Death is not the end of life but the commencement of a new life,
one that is eternal.
If we have lived this life well, made the right choices, accepted Jesus' gift of salvation,
we will have our moment before God and He will acknowledge our earthly journey.
Will we hear the words...
'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
A highlight moment for me last night was a visual expression of the excitement of the graduates.
The valedictorian ended his speech with a wave of his arm toward his fellow grads and shouted,
"The grad class of 2014!"
A deafening cheer rose from the 447 graduates as they threw their caps high into the air.
I visualize a coming moment when eternity shall commence
and multitudes, in white robes, standing before the throne of God
will throw their crowns at Jesus' feet
in celebration of joy!
"The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne......"