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This Sunday we congratulate our Trinity 2024 Graduates. Well done to each of them.

Graduation is very special. It marks the completion of a lot of effort and focus. Graduates deserve the applause and praise they receive. We are delighted to acknowledge them.

In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Paul writes:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Paul anticipates his graduation, the most important graduation ceremony ever. He is near the end of his life, most likely in prison in Rome and soon to be executed for his Christian faith. As he looks back over years of mission, ministry, preaching, writing, travel, hardship, suffering, and serving Jesus, he knows that the true graduation will soon come.

The graduation he anticipates – the most important graduation that awaits us all – is looking into the face of Jesus and hearing Jesus say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” In that moment Jesus awards us our graduation gown and hood. But this gown and hood is a crown, the crown of righteousness. And what shall we do with this crown?  Listen to the magnificent words of the final stanza of Charles Wesley’s great hymn “Love Divine All Loves Excelling”:

Finish then, Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be; let us see Thy great salvation
perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heav'n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Graduation for the disciple of Jesus, as Paul knew when he wrote 2 Timothy and Charles Wesley knew when he wrote his hymn, is not a ceremony or celebration this side of eternity; it is the joy of welcome into the eternal presence of Jesus at the end of our lives, when we see Jesus face-to-face. Until then, as one Christian leader from last century said, “A disciple is a life in formation and never a finished product. There is no graduation ceremony this side of glory.”

We celebrate our 2024 graduates. But the truth is, all of us are called to continue faithfully, honouring Jesus, sharing the Gospel, loving one another. For us, the greatest graduation awaits – and what a day that will be. We are not the Class of 2024, we are the Class of Eternal Faithfulness. So, keep going, stay faithful, persevere in the face of struggle, rejoice in the Lord. Your graduation awaits. And on that day, Jesus will give you a crown and you will cast it down before him in worship.

That’s the greatest graduation.

視頻大意翻譯 (video Chinese translation):






他所期待的畢業典禮—在等待我們所有人,那最重要的畢業典禮—是看著耶穌的臉,聽到耶穌說:“好、你這又良善又忠心的僕人。”在那一刻,耶穌賜給我們畢業袍和畢業帽,但這件禮服和帽子是一頂冠冕,是公義的冠冕。我們該如何處理這個冠冕呢? 請聽查理斯·衛斯理(Charles Wesley)的偉大讚美詩《神聖主愛》(Love Divine All Loves Excelling)最後一節壯麗的話語:



耶穌門徒的畢業,正如保羅在寫提摩太後書時所知道,或查爾斯衛斯理在他寫讚美詩時所知道的那樣,不是永恆另一邊的一個儀式或慶祝活動; 是在我們生命的盡頭,當我們面對面看到耶穌時,被喜樂地歡迎進入耶穌永恆的同在。在那之前,正如上個世紀的一位基督徒領袖所說,"門徒是個一生的生命塑造過程,而不是一個完成的成品。這邊沒有畢業典禮的榮耀。”



Grace and peace

Pastor Callum