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Principal's Pen: May 2022

Principal's Pen: May 2022

Commencement 2022
Principal Nicholas Harris

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Welcome to Berean Christian High School's 53rd commencement in honor of the class of two thousand twenty-two. Today, we are launching these graduates into the world, where they will join more than 3,700 Berean alumni who have gone before them.  No one knows what they will experience in their journey through life, all places they will go, what they will do, and the people they will meet - but we know that the Lord is good, and we believe their future is in His hands. In Psalm 139, we read these words from King David about God and his control over the future: The king writes, "all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Graduates, God is in control of your futures as well. Your days are already written in His book.

Yes, God has providentially involved Himself in your life and in your destiny. And in so doing, He has given you a task, and it's the same task He's given to every person He has ever created - a task to represent Him well, a task to make Him look good, a task to bring Him glory, wherever you may go, and in whatever you may do.  Listen to these words from the Lord in the book of Isaiah: "I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth — everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory." Graduates, that is why you exist – to glorify the God who made you. And graduates, if there's one thing to remember as you move on from here, it's that!  

In your homes, in your churches, and at this school, so many people have done their best to come alongside the Lord to get you ready, ready to leave, and ready to live for the glory of God!  For that is our commitment here at Berean; it's why this school exists; it's why your parents chose this school for you, and it's why all of the folks sitting alongside me have chosen a profession in Christian Education – to prepare you, the next generation of Christian to leave here and to glorify God in a different place, with different people, while doing different things.

So, today we celebrate the end of our work with you; we celebrate the completion of our mission! But we do not celebrate the completion of The Mission, that is, the Mission of God to redeem the entire creation. For the completion of that Mission is yet to come. Instead, we come alongside your parents and pastors and call on you to participate in what God is doing in the world, to join Him in His Mission wherever He may take you from here.

There is a word that is used when someone is being called to participate in a mission - the word, "commission." You've undoubtedly heard of Jesus' Great Commission, but there are two Great Commissions in the Bible; one in the Old Testament and the one involving Jesus and His disciples in the New. So, in order to commission you into your next phase of life and into participation with God and His Mission out in the world, I want to remind you of both.

The first Great Commission is found in the opening pages of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, where God makes this definitive statement about human beings and our collective calling and purpose. "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

God is the Creator who creates! And because He made us in His image, we are likewise made to create. And the Commission for us, as God's creators, comes in the very next verse: "And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over it." Graduates, the first Great Commission grants you the privilege of cultivating the world by bringing out the potential of everything and everyone on the planet. And that is the essence of the first Great Commission - bring out potential!

But, to bring out the potential of everything and everyone around you, you need to know how things in the world work. And this is why you learn. This is why you go to school. And for many of you, it is why you will continue your learning in college; you must come to know the mind of God and how He put the earth, life, and the laws of nature and morality into motion. And when you study these things, you learn of God's creativity, truth, beauty, and wisdom in what He created. And at this school, you also learned what God has revealed about Himself in His Word! And when you have a grasp of the created order and the God who made it all, you can get to work yourselves and be about the business of bringing God glory by bringing out the potential of everything and everyone He puts in front of you.

Graduates, a few weeks ago, I gave you a survey that was designed to see how the first Great Commission might play out in the next few years of your lives. Here's what the survey revealed about you, the class of two thousand twenty-two. Your number one intended career is in business. This was true for twenty-five percent of you. Medicine was the second most popular career ambition, with twenty percent of you making that choice.  Ten percent of you plan to become engineers or architects, while eight percent would like to pursue a career in computer science. Seven percent of your class intends to work in journalism, and four percent have ambitions in science and technology. A handful of you would like to work in politics, media, music, public service, law, and many other industries. And I'm proud to say that two graduates in this class have chosen to serve in the United States Armed Forces!    

Graduates, these career aspirations, industries, and callings, will likely become the major platforms where you will bring the potential out of God's creation so that it will be a blessing to others and a glory to God. You will engineer new things, and you will make old things better. You will write music and build buildings. You will launch businesses and fund charities. You will build theaters, work in hospitals, and make arguments in courtrooms. You will cure the sick and feed the hungry. You will educate the generation that comes after you.

But as you move into the world to do those things, you will soon realize that the ideals of the first Great Commission are never fully realized. Bringing out the potential of the earth and the people in it never entirely lives up to what God intended before sin came into the world. After the fall of man, we see that bringing out potential also brings out corruption; with the development of civilization, we also see destruction, war, and scarcity. The command to fill and subdue the earth also results in murder, strife, and disease. We see those evils every day; they are all around us, and that is the world you are being commissioned into.

So, what is the solution? How can what is wrong be made right? What must change so that the earth is filled and subdued for the glory of God without the presence of evil? We find the answer in Colossians chapter 1: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."

Graduates, the solution to what is wrong with the world is not a "what," the solution is a "who." The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners who repent and place their faith in Him is the only remedy for what is wrong with the world - "for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved."

And the proclamation of that truth passionately, confidently, and relentlessly is what we call the Second Great Commission. For that is what Jesus initiated when he told his followers, when he tells you, to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations."

Graduates, in order to subdue the earth for God, hearts must be subdued by Jesus Christ. For the ones He transforms are the ones who can faithfully bring out the “honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise” potential of the earth. Yes, you must live in light of both Great Commissions to live for the glory of God!    

No doubt, graduates, your aspirations for the future will take you to different places where you will do different things in different walks of life. But you are leaving Berean to go to those places with more than just a solid education and aspirations for the future. You are leaving with the Spirit of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and two Great Commissions that give you eternal motivation and purpose. May you bring out the potential of the earth, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God and the joy of all people.

Class of two thousand twenty-two - we rejoice at your accomplishments and celebrate launching you into the world.  May God enable you to serve Him and enjoy Him forever! 

Thank you! 

Nicholas Harris


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