An unconventional benediction.
A few folks asked for a copy of the “unconventional” graduation blessing that I delivered for our December commencement yesterday.
Here it is:
I left out a couple stanzas on the spot (remembering something Jesus said of wordy prayers from podiums).
Class of 2017, hear these words:
May you fail [long pause] … to seek significance in the plastic trinkets of this world / things like money, power, and fame. / And may you find significance in this: / that you are a beloved child of God / Etched in the image of Jesus Christ.
May you have enemies / So that you may love them just as Jesus did / and thus turn some of them to friends.
May you be disloyal citizens / to rival kings and rival kingdoms / So that you may prove true to good king Jesus / And see his Kingdom come.
May your life not go (entirely) as you have planned it / And in those moments, may you come to see that, alongside fidelity, God’s other name is “Surprise.”
And most of all: May you know that we, as your faculty, cannot wait to see you go / Not because we want to be rid of you / But because through your lives, our little ministries will multiply a hundredfold.
We love you; Godspeed.
+ Credit to Neil Plantinga for the idea that “God’s other Name is Surprise.”