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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Commencement Speech for Silas, June 11, 2017

“Guard the deposit entrusted to you”

We’re here to celebrate Silas’s graduation. But Silas, you haven’t accomplished much.
In a fact, everything we’re celebrating today is a gift that has been given to you. There have been sleepless nights devoted to your arrival at this moment. Thousands and thousands of dollars spent. You love to read. But that didn’t come from you. It came from hours and hours of books upon books being read to you. You love to learn and love knowing things. But that love of knowledge and learning was imparted to you from someone other than yourself.


You have not scaled an impassible wall, nor have you swum the breadth of the ocean. You have actually accomplished little in the grand scheme of things. You were simply given a gift. You have been entrusted with an upbringing and an education that had at its climax, this ceremony: which signifies an end not only to your secondary education, but to your childhood.


But your upbringing and education is not all that has been entrusted to you. You have been given a gift much more valuable than this. You have been given adoption papers, an inheritance of kings.

 
And now you must finally address the question: who are you going to be. Not what, but who.
Silas, you might be one of the smartest people I know. But being smart doesn’t ensure success. Nor does wisdom, with all its virtue. Even the wisdom of Solomon in all its splendor was not enough: “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” (1 Kings 11:4)


Silas, You have been entrusted with much more than an education towards knowledge and wisdom—you have been entrusted with the treasure of knowing Christ. In addition to the two pillars in your life, there have been many others cheering you on in your race pointing you towards the finish line.


Run, Silas, run! Run your race with wholeness of heart! Run with character and integrity! Run forgetting what lies behind. Run without a word of complaint. What more would we expect than that the road be filled with danger?

In his final letter to his dear friend Timothy, Paul writes a phrase which I leave with you:

"By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you." (2 Tim 1:14)