Sunday, May 07, 2006

Note to Graduating Seniors

Congratulations on achieving a great milestone! This is but one of many to come over the next few decades, leading to the one that will usher you into the presence of our God. It is that milestone on which I urge you to keep your focus. All the others between now and then will simply be steps in that direction which, if you choose wisely, will keep the track of your life directed squarely toward that final marker.

God created Man in His image which means that somewhere in all of us – in you – is the image of our God. That image, that imprint, that spiritual DNA if you will, is the real picture of who you are called – who you were made – to be. In reality, it is you. Many people see their life’s journey as an outward trek, one that reveals more of themselves to themselves as they experience more. It is true that we grow as we experience life, but our journey to ourselves is really a round trip journey – we end up where we started and where we are meant to be, discovering in ourselves a deep communion with God.

That communion – that being one with God – is a liberating realization that with God we are safe regardless of the physical, the seemingly real, circumstances of our lives. As we become more aligned with, as we yield more to God, we come to realize that everything we see around us has some aspect of God in it. Because we are secure in God, we can take greater risks in loving others, enjoying His creation, and taking care of people and that creation. We need not worry about being hurt or embarrassed or abandoned by people and things because we are with God. We perceive ourselves participating in His essence all the time. While we cannot become God, we can let the rigid distinctions between Him and us dissolve so that we become extensions of Him in working His will in this world. In seeking to yield ourselves to our God, we like Him, so love the world that we give ourselves for it. We become no longer concerned about Me. Not because we are “doing” something, but rather because we become the Lover of Others that we were made to be.

This may seem hard to grasp now. It is difficult to write clearly. But our legacy, your legacy, is to be an example to others of someone who so deeply loves, that so closely walks with God, that they see in your life, and will remember once you are gone, that God walked in you. Strive to meet each milestone in your life in the spirit and in the essence of the person you were made to be, who you are.

There is a string of verses that I urge you to make part of your being. The first is Micah 6.8 and it describes what God expects of each of us. We are to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Strive to do those things and they will serve you well throughout your life. John 3.16 and 17 tells us that God, in who’s image we are made, so loved the world that He gave Himself for it – not to condemn it, but to save it. We would do well to shape our lives so that we can so love those who the world, and even ourselves, find difficult to love, to help, to accept. The last verse is Paul’s admonition in the fifth chapter, verse 21 of his letter to the Ephesians that we submit ourselves to one another. It is often easy to love and serve someone at a soup kitchen, but often much harder to submit to people who are close to us. This verse reminds us that we are to love everyone, even those who are so close to us that they can often hurt us the most. God strives to love, not condemn them too. If we are to become like Him, we must let our submission and forgiveness to those closest to us reflect who we are.

I pray and trust that our God will be with you for the rest of your time on this earth, and I urge you to submit yourselves to Him, letting Him reveal His image in you, so that your legacy will be one that blesses the world.

April 27, 2006

Welcome and legal mumbojumbo

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