Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of joining many family members and friends of this year’s Brookville graduates for their Baccalaureate service.
The invitation that was sent out said the service would be a “blessing of the class, celebrating the graduation accomplishments that our students have earned, blessing their futures and wishing them a lifetime of health, success and happiness.”
This year the service was moved from the high school auditorium to the Presbyterian Church. I was happy to see that parents and friends of the seniors nearly filled the sanctuary. But sadly, only about one-third of the graduating class showed up to be blessed.
I can’t understand how anything could be more important than receiving God’s approval of recent accomplishments and asking His blessing on future endeavors. But obviously the majority of the Class of 2015 doesn’t seem to need God in their lives.
Not only did the seniors who attended the service receive a blessing, so did the entire audience.
Senior Shannon Rollan made her singing debut, admitting at the beginning she was very nervous because it was her first time to sing in front of an audience. Anyone who has made that attempt knows exactly what she was feeling.
When she was overcome by her emotions and found it difficult to continue the song, she was joined on the platform not only by her sister, but also by two of her classmates. They didn’t sing with her, but were there to hold her up with their emotional support. It kind of reminds me of the story of Moses during one of Israel’s battles. As long as he held his arms up, Israel was winning. But when Moses grew tired and lowered his arms, the enemy would begin to win. It wasn’t long before two of his companions stepped in, much as the senior girls did. Aaron and Hur found a stone for the tired Moses to sit on, and then each one stood beside him, holding up his arms until the battle was won.
The young women stayed with Shannon until her battle was won. The applause was strong and I believe that not only was the audience applauding Shannon’s victorious performance, but they were also applauding the show of support they had just seen.
One lady sitting beside me said she believed Shannon’s real help came from above, as she lifted her eyes toward heaven.
The audience was also blessed by the Baccalaureate sermon, given by school board member Fred Park. He talked to the class about the importance of relationships, telling them that relationships don’t just happen, they take time and effort.
He didn’t “preach” to the seniors, but he got his message across loud and clear that the most important relationship they can ever have is a personal relationship with God. “God is the Author and Creator of relationships,” he said, encouraging the seniors to include God in every aspect of their lives.
And I seriously doubt if anyone who attended that service will ever see Dr. Park again and not think about banana splits, which he casually mentioned is his favorite food.
The service included two readings from the Bible and several special songs with religious themes. It was a blessing for those who had ears to hear.
After the service was over I was talking to one of the school’s administrators, who said that was the first Baccalaureate service in a long time that he could remember God being mentioned so much. I had to agree with him, while at the same time thinking how sad that such a statement needed to be made.
To all who worked in planning the service and to those who participated in the program, another round of applause is given for a job well done. For those who attended the service, may any blessing you received go with you during the coming days and seeks, as you remember Dr. Park’s closing words to the seniors, “Bloom where you are planted.”