So You're Not The Prince of England!
Did any of you graduates get up at 4 a.m. yesterday to watch the royal nuptials take their vows in Westminster Abbey? The whole world has gone gaga over the wedding of handsome Prince William and lovely Kate Middleton. And I suppose the Nielsen statistics will reveal that a billion-plus people on earth were glued to their televisions to oooh and aaah over this spectacular third millennial version of the ancient fairy tale. (Confession—I was sound asleep—I’ve already married the princess of my dreams!) God bless the queen and the prince and his new bride. But a day later, I’ve got some very good news for you who walk down this aisle to celebrate your own epoch-making tale. Follow the logic of this string of declarations: (1) “God exalted him [Christ] to his own right hand as Prince and Savior” (Acts 5:31); and (2) “Jesus is not ashamed to call [us] brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:11 NIV ‘11). And what are “brothers and sisters” of a Prince called? You got it—princes and princesses. Now look, let’s not take this royals craze too far—but you get the point. The God of the universe incarnated himself in our midst for 30 some years, dying as our Savior, and rising again as our Lord and King. Whether you call him Prince and all of us his brothers and sisters, or whether you call him King of kings and all of us his children—the quiet truth still shines bright: In Christ we are children of royalty. So, graduate, live the life of a radical prince and princess. No glitz and glamour for you. You are a child of the Most High King—and the moment your diploma is in hand tomorrow (or a facsimile thereof), you embark upon a divine mission—the fulfillment of the dream God has had for your life from the day you began to breathe. Where will he take you, where will you go? This much I know. Somewhere out there, there is a little Seventh-day Adventist church (maybe not so little) that truly needs your passion, your talents, your eagerness to serve. Please don’t spend the next year wandering from congregation to congregation (or simply deciding that you’re too busy to find life in a local congregation of any interest). In the words of our namesake here at this university, “I know of but one way: Find a field of labor, ask God to help, take off your coat, and pitch into the work” (John Nevins Andrews). And as you do so, remember that there’s a little village pastor back on your alma mater campus that will be cheering you on. God hasn’t brought you this far in life to make you a pauper. You’re royalty, my friend—so go forth and live like the Prince who calls you to follow!