Last Friday night Grand Rapids Theological Seminary held its commencement ceremony. It was a wonderful time of celebration and once again made me so happy to be part of an institution and community so thoroughly shaped by the gospel and by Kingdom priorities. I led the invocation and this was my prayer:
Lord and heavenly father, we pray to you in Christ and by your Spirit. We thank you for this community, for GRTS, for these students – now graduates – for our administration, for faculty and staff. Thank you for the warm community of friendship and support throughout the process of preparation for ministry.
Thank you for the fellowship we enjoy in a community of learning, where we’ve provoked one another to consider how we might grow up in understanding, in skill in handling the Scriptures, and in resolve to honor you as we serve your people.
We give you thanks on this occasion of celebration for your faithfulness. You have carried us, upheld us, sustained us, empowered us, challenged us, shaped us, and loved us in more ways that we could count or imagine.
And as we look to the future, to the unknown, to the struggles, difficulties, and challenges we will face, we know that you will remain faithful.
Strengthen us, Lord. Give us courage. Give us wisdom. Keep us humble. Give us expansive hearts to love as you love.
You have prepared us for the ministries to which you have called us. And we thank you that we can be confident as we look to the future.
We thank you for all these things in the name of Jesus and by your Spirit. Amen.