During my years as an ordained pastor, I’ve been involved in many wedding celebrations. Leading up to each one, I’ve met with couples for some pre-marriage conversation. We discuss areas that every couple needs to consider for a successful marriage such as good communication skills, finances, personality types, parenting, family relationships, hobbies, etc. More times than not, it’s the cost of the wedding that seems to add stress for most couples. So if they ask my opinion, I gently try to remind them that although the ceremony/reception/honeymoon will be a wonderful experience, it’s the days beyond that moment that really matter in a lifelong commitment.
I was thinking today how the same is true of graduations. The time when one graduates is a special day, and we grieve with those who do not have that experience this year. But I’m excited for all of you about the journey ahead. Whether it’s off to more education or beginning a new vocation, it’s the start of something new. Like any good marriage, it will take commitment and energy. The days beyond a graduation celebration is really what you’ve worked so hard for up to this point in your life.
I guess the same thing can be said of Holy Baptism. We cherish that special day when God claims us as His very own. My baptism was on December 27th, 1964. But more importantly than the celebration of that day is how I’m living out this new life, this new vocation, as a precious child of God.
So for all of you getting ready to tie the knot, to all of you graduating, and for all of those preparing for baptism – we see you and celebrate these special occasions. But most of all, we are lifting you up in prayer for the journey you are about to embark on in life. May your adventure be full of everything you have hoped for, may you feel the presence of the Almighty with each step.