Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.
God's Words are so much better than anything your mom or I could possibly write-- especially at a time such as this when emotions overflow. Speaking through the Psalmist, God reminds us, "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him." Ps 127:3
This day your mom and I are reminded that we have indeed been richly blessed. Not because you have succeeded in graduating from high school, but just because you are our son.
And that leads to something for you to remember, we did not choose you to be our child. God chose to give you to us. So you see, dear graduate, we HAVE to love you. 8^)
And since God has so richly blessed you with such superb parents, you MUST honor us. Turnabout is fair play after all.
We hope that we have fulfilled our parental duties faithfully up until now and pray that we may continue to do so. We think that you have indeed been an honorable child and pray that we can help you to some day be an honorable parent. (No need to rush on this, though.)
Please forgive us our shortcomings as we have forgiven yours and may God enable us to learn from them all.
Speaking of parental duties and choosing, the most important task of a parent is to bring each of their children to know the One, True God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As proud as we are of your academics and other school activities, we want you to know that it has been the greatest joy to watch you mature in faith--a faith that relies on the Gospel of Jesus suffering, death and resurrection rather than on personal obedience to God's Law.
We think you are a great son and as wonderful a child as a parent could have. But that's our opinion and that won't get you to heaven.
We think you have a pretty good head on your shoulders and, generally speaking, make good choices. But that won't get you to heaven either. Only Christ's obedience is perfect and only His choosing matters. So the most important thing for you to remember is, In Jesus' own words, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-- fruit that will last." John 15:16
No, we did not choose you. But we couldn't love you more if we had. We thank God for choosing to bless us by giving you to be our child and for giving His One and Only Son that all people who believe in Him will be blessed with eternal life. We pray that by His Holy Spirit, God the Father will keep you in the faith that relies on Christ alone for salvation and bears fruit that others may know him too. "[We] pray ... that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Eph 1:18-19
That is God's desire for you and all your fellow graduates regardless of the college major or career you pursue. That, in fact is God's desire for all of us here today, indeed for all the world. May you find comfort in that hope today as you reflect on your past and wonder what the future might hold as a forgiven child of God--in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.
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