Tomorrow is Senior Day at Central. My fifth one as a preacher. My first as a dad of one of the Seniors. Everything we do together as a church family will carry some added significance because Whitney’s baby pictures will be in the slide show. Whitney’s words will be in the video. The shepherds will hand our Whitney a new Bible and then pray for her. It’ll have some additional impact for me, Whitney’s dad.
Let’s not forget that you don’t have to be a mom or a dad or a grandparent of one of the Seniors for it to be special. It’s special because Whitney is your kid, too. In fact, all thirteen of our Central Seniors belong to you. And to me.
As a body of believers, as a family of God, our Senior Sunday is one of the ways we publicly acknowledge God’s proprietership, his ownership, of our kids. Our children should be taught that they belong to God. We should treat them like they belong to God. Because they do.
The Church, God’s community of faith, is built child by child. The Kingdom of God is established child by child. Our children are precious and priceless treasures. And the Son of God tells us he doesn’t want one — not one! — to be lost. With that in mind, we teach our children. We encourage and challenge, love and support our children.
At the Central Church of Christ, we’re raising kids. We’re not raising immaculate buildings and well-oiled programs. We’re not raising perfect worship services and effective curricula. Not money. Not comfort levels. Not statistics. We’re raising kids. We’re passing our faith to the children our Lord has entrusted to us. We’re shaping them through a context of love and grace, encouragement and respect.
As our thirteen high school Seniors prepare to graduate and rapidly move on to the next chapters of their young lives, it is imperative that we, their community of faith in Christ, be there tomorrow to encourage them. It’s important that we show them by our actions that we really mean what we say with our mouths.
When Jesus sent out his apostles, he did so with much cheering and encouraging. “You can do it!” he said. “Get out there and be great! Go out there and turn the world upside down! Go boldly and change everything!”
“And remember, you didn’t choose me; I chose you!”
God has chosen these thirteen. He has gifted them and chosen them to represent him and his Kingdom wherever they go. He’s ordained them as his children to partner with him in redeeming the world. He really believes in them. Let’s make sure we’re all present and focused tomorrow to show our high school Seniors that we believe in them, too.