I was invited to participate in the Baccalaureate service for EC Glass on June 5, 2016. This is what I shared.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
This is a season of celebrations. And you have a lot to celebrate – the final concerts, the final games, the final plays, the final exams. There are classrooms you will never walk into again. You have finished, and in doing so accomplished a lot, and that is worthy of celebration.
But this time is also a time where you are about to embark on a new beginning. Where you will, no doubt, achieve greatness. A quick look at Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook shows the trail of greatness you have already left behind in this community. Through the arts, hours of community service, and so much more, you have deeply impacted this community in ways you may never know.
For this I am thankful and filled with hope. The world, in all of its various departments, needs you. We need you who do not conform to things of this world (which, there is enough of already in the world – there is enough conformity). Instead, we need you who will seek to fulfill a vision of beloved community. We need you, who are willing to be transformed by the renewing of your minds, by being open to new experiences, new places, new people, new cultures, new poets and thinkers, for this renewal will transform you, and you will transform the world.
Friends, we need you to tell your stories beyond the 24-hour Snapchat collection – through living your story this world will be a place of love, peace, justice, and compassion.
The world needs you – we need you, and that is worth celebrating.