Originally scheduled for May 27
Your author lives next door to a large
university. Every year my wife and I get to experience the sights
and sounds of graduation at close hand. The university in question
is in the state of California, and the weather is warm. The sites
Every coed, it seems, is required to
wear a short sundress and 4 inch high heels. Summer comes early in
California. Mom, on the other hand, is more sensible. The campus is
large and the walk is long; it's not unusual to see the coed
barefoot and mom carrying the 4 inch heels.
Flowers and balloons seem to be
completely necessary. One balloon is not sufficient; the amount of
helium per graduate seems adequate to fill a small zeppelin. You
just hope that they don't tie the balloons to little brother and
watch him float away.
Of course, there are also the photos
and souvenirs. You have to have the T-shirt that lists all the names
of the graduates. You also need all possible combinations of friends
in photographs, all with excited smiles.
Graduation is an Alpha and Omega. It's a time
of new beginnings; perhaps a new job, or onto a new school for
graduate work — but most often a newfound independence. For most of
these graduates leave the university to go to life; they leave
behind a social structure whose comfort they may not realize. It's
also a time of endings. Would you ever see these friends again? That
question is clear. What some don't realize is that soon they will
say, "Once, I was a scholar." The intellectual life of the
University dies and is replaced by the mundane and the every day.
It's hard to hold a philosophical discussion over diapers and
It is not possible to hold the graduation
without playing "Pomp and Circumstance." There are, after all,
certain rules and traditions. When we hold a ceremony, we hold to
those traditions. It is by unchanging ceremony that we mark the
Communion, too, is a ritual marking transition.
It marks the great transition of
history: from the law of the Old Testament to the grace of the New
Testament. In this we see the way in which God has changed how he
deals with mankind, and the benefits we derive from that.
For the individual Christian, it
marks the transition from the old life to the new life. It marks the
time that you went from being self-centered and self ruled to being
a disciple of the Lord.
Communion looks forward to the next
great transition: the coming of Christ. We partake of communion
"until He comes." The old reality in which we now live will give way
to the new heaven and the new Earth.
Graduation speakers encourage the graduates to
look within themselves and see what has changed. It is fitting to do
this at communion as well. Examine yourself; bring your hopes and
your failures to God and remember the great transition at the Cross.