CELEBRATIONS and CEREMONIES
Yesterday I attended the graduation ceremony of my son from college. Those of us attending sat in a gymnasium where the event was held. When the ceremony began the lights were lowered and a brass band seated next to the stage began to play. Those who were the object of our attention were ready and lined up at the corner entrance of the arena. The first of the processional was a dignitary from the college wearing (as did all the participants) a robe. He held a small scepter adorned with a large jewel of some sort on the top. He held it like it was dangerous, with two hands, he walked slowly and carefully. He walked down the center aisle and placed it with great respect into a holder on the platform, displaying it for all to see. Next a series of men and women came who held banners that hung from crossbars attached to the top of long poles that they held upright in front of them. Each banner was different in color, decorated with symbols and the title of a particular educational discipline of the institution. Next the educators came and sat in front on chairs facing the platform. Then the graduates, several hundred of them, entered the room. These graduates had earned degrees and were the true honorees. The graduates were being honored because they had completed requirements that measure knowledge. The music played, the atmosphere was intense, the people were important, it was quite a production!
As I watched and considered what I was seeing, I was impacted by how we as humans like to notice how far we have come (and we have). I considered if we thought too highly of ourselves. I also thought about how from God’s standpoint, how far we have to go, and as that notion rose, I was aware of shame which immediately seemed out of place. My true emotion was pride in my son and of what he had accomplished, so where would this random negativity come from!?
We have an enemy who makes every effort to keep us from the freedom, healing and life to the full Jesus said he came to bring. He’ll do anything to squash the simple joys of life.
Close behind this thought was the heart of God fighting for my freedom (as He always does), whispering truth and life into my heart, saying that he did not judge us as conceited or disrespectful for this ceremony, rather he was quite enjoying Himself, because He was so proud of what His children, everyone of them, had accomplished.
This is an awful lot of words for a dismissed though that had a lifetime of maybe one second, but perhaps this moment of consideration is for you and me, to help us remember that God loves us, and enjoys Himself while sharing life with us because He is proud of what His children, everyone of us, has accomplished.
God is a big one for ceremonies, He likes them. He likes it when we stop our hurriedness and take a minute to wrap our arms around the joy of being alive and recognize how wonderful we are. Shoot! We’re in His image. God thinks we’re awesome, so do I and I’m so proud of my son.
It was a wonderful ceremony, recognizing accomplishments worthy of celebration. It was a wonderful day. Jesus had a great time. As did I.