My Children’s Last High School Graduation

My youngest son, Josiah, graduated from high school last Sunday. I don’t know why schools have graduation ceremonies on Sundays these days or when this all started. For some reason, it doesn’t sit well with me.

Last Sunday was Pulpit Exchange Sunday with our Korean speaking congregation. They have three worship services. The third one begins at 2:30pm and ends at about 4:15pm. So, I was able to make it to the graduation after preaching three times since it began at 7pm.

Once again, I didn’t get to sit in one of those seats where the family members of the top ten students sit.
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Now, I will never know what it will feel like to sit in those seats.
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There were many speeches given by students and teachers. Most of them sounded about the same except one sounded pretty funny and another one rather solemn. I felt like all of them lacked substance because they either didn’t know Christ who is the Wisdom or couldn’t talk about Him and the impact He has made upon their lives.

As I looked at the graduating seniors sitting on the bottom floor from the top, I noticed that students were wearing different kinds of cords around their neck. Some had gold, some silver but some none. And some had sash but some didn’t. When I read the program, I got reminded that they represent academic achievements. Josiah had both cord and sash around his neck. I was surprised. I know he didn’t do his best and could have done better. Nonetheless, I was thankful for the academic success he has achieved in high school. I hope he will learn the importance of working hard in the earlier part of his college career before it gets too late.

Many church friends and adult leaders came out to celebrate his graduation. It was loud when his name was called. I appreciated the support and encouragement our church members gave him.

After the ceremony, we went outside to take some pictures. Sam Sok, Josiah’s village leader, once again came out with Josiah’s fat head so that it will be easy for everyone to know where to gather together for pictures. He did this for Caleb two years ago when he graduated. I know it takes time and money to prepare these fat heads. This is love.

After we were done with taking pictures, I walked towards the parking lot to get my car. On the way, I saw some families taking pictures on their own without any friends or significant adults. They looked lonely. These families may not agree, but we are not created to do life alone. We are made to live together loving and caring for one another.

I praised God for our church family through which I get to know and be known, serve and be served, love and be loved and celebrate and be celebrated. I also felt very thankful to everyone who came out. What a blessing it is to be a part of God’s family!

For me and my wife, there will be no more high school graduation ceremonies. Instead, it will be college graduation, and then weddings, and then grandchildren. Life goes on. Soon, I will stand before my Lord to be with Him forever.

Your pastor,


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