When we were asked to give the parent blessing at the grad banquet in May, our first thought was “How do we come up with a blessing that encourages such a wonderful group of amazing young people?” They have been such a blessing to us and to the community around us in many ways.

In The Counselling Office

We see these students as Aiden’s friends and classmates, but we also realized that we both have the privilege of seeing these students from a unique perspective.

In the academic counselling office, I (Monica) hear many of the students’ hopes and dreams, and how they desire to shape God’s world after secondary school. This class is full of future teachers, nurses, doctors, dentists, lawyers, veterinarians, musicians, farmers, engineers, mechanics, missionaries, kinesiologists, artists, entrepreneurs, counsellors, welders, accountants, plumbers, technologists, and much more! And this only represents their career aspirations, let alone all their other plans. There is so much hope for the future in the hearts of these students, it is inspiring and humbling.

In Growing Their Faith

I (Marcel) also have a unique perspective on this class. As a pastor of faith formation in one of the local churches, I witnessed many of them grow in their faith—from exploring what faith is at youth group, to missions trips, to professing their faith and committing their lives to the Lord through adult baptism.

There is something special about this class.

Their desire to grow in faith should be an example to us all, just as we read in 1 Timothy 4:12.

Some of you walked the streets in Mexico sharing the love of Jesus, others shared a testimony or short message in village churches, still others washed the feet of the least of these in remote tribes in the Philippines, and others shared the gospel message in Nicaragua. Many have served in other places, including their own neighbourhoods, school, and homes. They have not only set an example for the youth that come after them but for the older generation too.

In the Hallways and Homes

Others have a unique perspective on this class as well: the ACS staff who have walked alongside every one of them, engaging minds and nurturing hearts, and the incredible group of parents who have raised their children with a commitment to education from a Christian worldview—seeking God first in all things.

I suspect that most parents have a vivid memory of seeing you for the first time. It feels like yesterday. When we watched you take your first, tottering steps, we certainly couldn’t imagine what this day would look like as you take your first steps into the next part of your journey, but through it all we are so thankful for God’s hand in guiding you to this point.

In Everything and Everyone

In the Prayer of St. Patrick, we are encouraged as Christians to have another unique perspective. One of seeing Christ in everything we do and everyone we meet.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Wherever tomorrow brings you, may you always experience the love and presence of Christ around you. May you feel him more and more working in and through you. Keep your focus on Him for it is all about Him.

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down.
Wherever you go, physically, mentally, spiritually, ideologically; in this world or in your home, in your dorm room, or on the other side of world, know that Christ and his love are always with you there.

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
In your interactions with others, whether joyful or challenging, may you always see them as image bearers of Christ, and may that perspective influence your words and actions as you go about your days.

Finally, using the words of the apostle Paul, “We pray…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And we pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within you, to him be glory in the church, (and in this amazing grad class) and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.