Last Saturday, I was distracted from an exciting conversation at our Mission Summit when my eye was caught by the procession of bright purple robes as Harcum Students lined up for graduation. The night before, students from Eastern University were spilling into the Sanctuary for their Baccalaureate address. Over the next few weeks, we’ll celebrate as the four year old pre-Kindergarten class graduates from the Weekday School. I’m sure many of you will be celebrating high school graduations, college graduations and more.
May is a month packed with powerful moments of transition. Graduations are beautiful, but I love watching students getting in line for those moments. Watch ways they fix each other’s robes and try to get everyone’s hat on straight. There’s always someone running trying to catch up or find their place and there’s always one very harassed individual with a clipboard trying to keep everything on time. Even the best orchestrated have an element of chaos—after all it’s a moment of becoming when a student becomes something new. I always see these as holy and sacred moments when people walk between two worlds. Often times they are leaving something that is known and heading out into something new, something unknown or maybe into total uncertainty. But once that music starts, you know it’s time to move forward.
When you joined the ancient church, part of the liturgy included a symbolic crossing of the Jordan River. You waded through the baptismal waters and on the “far side” were greeted with communion. It was a symbolic start to a new life—no longer wandering in the desert, but now part of God’s kingdom. This Sunday, we will have the privilege of welcoming our Confirmands as they profess their faith and are welcomed as members of the church. It is a holy celebration. At this point, we know what will happen, it’s mapped out and the liturgy is printed. What we don’t know is what happens next—who in the class will serve as a youth deacon? Who will help volunteer at VBC? Who will serve with Medecins Sans Frontieres? Whose voice will lead the choir in worship? Who will organize a building project in Mexico City or in West Kensington? Who will be ready to pray when called upon? Who will be ready to say “I believe” when asked about his or her faith?
We already know the gifts, talents and faith each one already possesses. Now we have the opportunity to imagine with them, “What's next?” I encourage each of you to pick a name from the bulletin and pray for that confirmand. Be ready BMPC! As these 35 young people join the church, we will be changed and we will be blessed. Pray that as they become a members of the church, all will see God at work in the world, hear God’s call in their lives, and be ready to faithfully follow wherever the spirit may lead.