Reflections on December Graduation

Very fine people will walk across a stage today to receive diplomas from Southwestern Seminary.

So much goodness here. Some students I knew from their first course in the seminary, some employees of mine, some doing fine doctoral work, and there’s even one cousin! Really, this is a fine group and, as far as I can tell, no stinkers nor “well-bless-their-heart-they’ve-graduated” type of students.

Which makes it perfect for a December graduation in which the songs and the presidential challenge will rally around the theme of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. What better way to celebrate Christ than to send a few hundred students across the stage in their calling incarnationally; sent to bed down in their mission field and re-present their Father by manifesting the life of Christ while explaining the words of Christ. The birth of Christ is the perfect formal ethos from which we project them from the classroom to the world.

This is what makes a Christmas chapel so profoundly perfect.

We will sing carols and our President will take a Christmas text from which he will preach a winsome and explicit Gospel appeal to the many family members and friends present who, while supportive, have never given themselves to the very Person whom their graduate is serving. This too is perfect because while we are sending them to the mission field the Gospel appeal encourages their work among a mission field many students have been cultivating for years – their own families.

The Gospel message explained while the Gospel ministry is ceremonially celebrated in some very fine people promises to make this a glorious celebration; and I’m so thankful to be there.

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