Commencement is a ceremony or a day when degrees are conferred upon students who have completed a course of study. It is the time when the individuals are deemed ready to begin to take the knowledge they have gained and share it in a meaningful way in their lives. This past May, my twins graduated from college. They both had great college experiences and are bursting with enthusiasm, tempered I am sure with a little apprehension, to take their place in society. The keynote speakers at each of their graduations were equally wonderful. They both urged the graduates to not passively accept their legacy in life, but to actively, creatively, and honorably fashion it into something beneficial to themselves and the world around them.
I couldn’t help but think about the parallels between that commencement and the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Lord’s disciples. Jesus had completed His ministry here on earth, and the disciples “formal training” had come to completion. The Holy Spirit came upon them anew signifying the beginning of the new covenant age. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Under the guidance and direction of the Spirit, the disciples were to go out into the world and actively and honorably preach the gospel to all mankind. Each one of us who believes, has also inherited this legacy. Jesus calls us to be fellow workers in spreading the gospel and revealing the kingdom of God. Whether you are a seasoned believer or a brand new follower of Christ, it is time to actively, creatively and honorably love and serve the Lord. That begins in our own homes, families and communities.
Whether the graduates in your life completed elementary, high school, college or beyond, help them to remember their higher legacy to live by Jesus’ teachings and to spread the gospel. What is reflected in how you live your life today, will reflect in theirs tomorrow – and to the ends of the earth.