for Sunday, May 6, 2012
5th Sunday of Easter
lectionary focus: Acts 8:26-40
note: Why this Sunday to honor graduates? It is either this Sunday with the eunuch’s desire to learn, or May 20th with the John 17:6-19 text “as I have sent them into the world.” May 13th is Mother’s Day and then May 27th is Pentecost. If you choose not to discuss graduation this Sunday, you can key in on the need to be life-long learners.
Good morning! Today we would like any of you who are graduating this spring from high school or college to come join us on the chancel steps. It wasn’t so long ago that you were down here every Sunday, and it won’t be too long before our current regulars are marching to Pomp and Circumstance.
Congratulations on your big achievement!
You never finish going to school.
We have a saying in our culture: Learn something new every day. This is not just for children and students but for grown-ups and grandparents, too. Exercising our brains is just as important as exercising our bodies. We should never stop learning. And this is not a new idea. Throughout the Bible we see the children of God learning. In our Bible story today, we see a smart, important grown-up–an official of the Queen’s court–learning something new. And he is excited about it; he is eager to learn; he rejoices in learning! You may have finished one school, but we hope that you have not finished learning.
Let me tell you a story.
You know how at the end of the service, Pastor Sid gives us the blessing and the charge? He always starts with, “Go out into the world in peace.” Well, once upon a time, I was sitting on the back pew with my friend Mr. Ron and when Pastor Sid said, “Go out into the world in peace,” before he could say the next part, Mr. Ron quietly said, “And come back.” So to those of us on the back pews it sounded like this, “Go out into the world in peace…and come back.” Well, we all kinda giggled. But then I got to thinking about it. Mr. Ron was right.
Many of you are going out far away into the world..and that is a good thing…and you will go with God…but it is important that you come back to your church. It is important that you come back to us, your church family. We love you, we are here to support you, we want to keep learning about you, and you can always come back to us, to church, to God.
So Graduates, go out into the world in peace and come back!
Will you say a prayer with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)
for our graduates.
Help us all
to go out into the world in peace
and help us all
to come back.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.