I went to a commencement ceremony last night.
Two of my kids were getting certificates
At a community college.
Two hundred and thirty four students were listed in the program. Perhaps ten,
twenty, maybe even thirty of them were not there for the actual ceremony.
But at least over two hundred of them were.
After the opening song,
(Which of course was “Pomp and Circumstance”,)
The president of the college spoke a moving speech,
On how the students were to now
Go forth into the world
And leave their mark in it.
Then each graduate’s name was called out,
as they stepped up to the platform
to receive their diploma or certificate.
After their name was called forth,
And their degree/certificate was noted,
Each student was able
In thirty words or less,
To say a personal word of thanks
To those who had helped them
Achieve their diplomas/certificates.
Most mentioned family and friends,
And of course their favorite teachers.
I sat in the audience
Just how many of the students
Would remember to thank God.
Out of two hundred or more students,
Came forth with ANYTHING resembling God.
One gave thanks to ‘her guardian angel’,
(though my husband believes the student
was actually referring to her grandfather,)
two mentioned the word ‘God’,
and JUST TWO
actually gave thanks to JESUS.
My heart just ACHED
To find there was only five
Amongst two hundred!
I KNOW my God!
I KNOW that He had to have helped other students
in this graduating group, at some time or another.
But when the time came to give thanks,
JESUS had been forgotten.
And yes, in case you were wondering,
It was my own two kids
Who went forth and stated that they
Wanted to give thanks to Jesus.
I was surprised and very thankful,
That they both wanted to state this
Before the whole assembly,
And to even state their thanks to Him FIRST,
before mentioning anyone else.
They told me,
How Jesus helped them to remember
The answers during their exams,
(they would get nervous,
And get hit with forgetfulness,)
Or how He had helped them to remember
To send in forgotten homework at the last minute,
Or to stay alert in class when sick,
And even how He kept them safe,
During dangerous driving conditions,
As they drove to and from the college.
(One of my kids even totaled the car one slick rainy night,
But walked away unscathed,
Because his guardian angel
Was in the car right next to him through the whole thing,
Instructing him what to do to stay safe,
as the car kept rolling in the air.
He landed upside down,
Just inches away from a big fat tree.)
Jesus had indeed, helped them earn their certificates.
He had not only kept them alive,
But He had prospered them.
I was also pleasantly surprised,
To find that the college speaker
Left the name of Jesus alone,
As they had to read through every single message,
And pre-approve each one of them.
I half expected them to delete it,
or to change it to the more generic ‘God’,
But they did not.
(Thank you Jesus Christ of Nazareth!)
When one of my kids names was called out,
The speaker said “I would like to thank Jesus-
And then he gave a slight PAUSE,
I was not able to see this speakers face from where I was sitting,
so I do not k now if the speakers expression was mocking, serious,
surprised, or glad. But he gave pause after announcing this,
as if to give space to some kind of emotion.
(The speaker had not done this with any of the other students.)
A small collective gasp came forth from the surrounding crowd,
along with a few “ah, finally!” shouts,
(almost as if someone had been waiting to hear Jesus’ name,)
and then clapping broke out from the audience,
In support of thanking Jesus.
When all the students had been given their diplomas and certificates,
and the closing speaker had finished,
The band played a lively tune,
As the graduates walked back out of the arena.
Care to make a guess as to what song they chose to play?
WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN!
(Anyone else see the irony in this?!)
As the students left,
They danced to the song with excitement.
But my heart just ACHED!
I looked at all those students,
And wondered if the students ever gave any thought
Into what they were marching in TO!
Because if their thank you’s were any indication at all
Of where their soul would one day go,
ONLY FIVE WOULD ACTUALLY GO MARCHING IN!
(I pray that they would each come to love Jesus deeply, ‘
before their ‘number’ gets called!)
Afterwards, at the reception,
An older couple came up to one of my kids,
And said that they wanted to personally thank him
For mentioning Jesus name
In front of the whole assembly.
My son smiled at them,
And said “So you are believers too! Cool…”
They said a quick prayer with him,
Before waving goodbye.
All these students,
All two hundred and thirty four of them,
Are going forth now to leave their mark upon the world.
What do you think that mark will be?
(I can’t help but hope and pray,
That the Christian colleges
Are having better results,
In getting their students,
Willing to stand up for Jesus
And give Him thanks
In the public arena…!)
Luke 17:11-17, 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
“And so it was when he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria, and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go, show yourselves unto the Priests. And it came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice praised God, and fell down on his face at his feet, and gave him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered, and said, Are there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?”
Luke 17:11 Christ doeth well even unto such, as will be unthankful, but the benefits of God profit them only to salvation, which are thankful.
“…We ought to obey God rather than men.”– Acts 5:29
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