1fp4On the occasion of First Presbyterian Preschool Kindergarten Graduation…2017…

What a beautiful group of children!  Some tall, some shorter, some a little chunky, others thin.  Brown hair, red hair, blond hair, black hair.  Skin darker, skin lighter…there were children who excelled and others who were a little slower getting the hang of things.  There were those who sang out loud and proud  and others who barely moved their mouths.  Watching them, I remembered some of the ones who loved to explore through art…and others who would much rather not be getting their hands messy.  Some of the children stood still in their outfits Moms or Dads had ironed…keeping their shirttails tucked in…hair neatly combed and bows tied perfectly.  Others had bows untied, shirttails pulled out or halfway out…shoes untied and hair all disheveled.

But everyone is perfect!  Perfectly themselves.  It’s amazing how at five and six years old you can already see the personality of a child.  You can discern if they are a perfectionist or totally laid back.  You can tell if they see the big picture or get distracted by the details.  You can see if they are rule followers or prefer to follow their own path.  You can see if they are explorers who want to be involved in discovery or prefer to let others do the discovering and read about it later.  You can see the ones who are leaders and those who prefer to follow.  Some are sweet and gentle, kind and soft spoken.  Some are also loud and boisterous and always desiring to be in center of something…if there’s not something…they’ll start it!  Some are nurturing and want to take care of others…some want to do things without any help…from anyone!  Each is perfectly made in God’s image.

And you know, our society needs ever single one of them…just like they are!  We need the ones who will be content to study quietly and who will love to listen to their teachers.  But, we also need those who will are not afraid of a challenge and prefer to discover new things for themselves.  We need people in our world who  love to throw lots of color onto a canvas and swirl it around.  But we also need those who prefer to draw tiny sketches with a pencil.

Which of these dear children will be doctors with empathy for those who are ill?    Which child will be a merchant who stores goods that we all need?  Who will be the lawyer who helps solve problems?  Who will be the policeman and firemen and paramedics who respond quickly in disaster?  Who will run the library and catalogue the books and have them available for us when we need them?  Who will be the schoolteachers who will guide more young minds?  Who will be the preachers who remind us of our need for God and how to better serve Him?  Who will be the artist?  Who will be the movie star?  Who will be the secretary who keeps all the books and files in order?  Who will be the scientist who discovers something we never knew before?  Who will run the gas station and the clothing stores and the restaurants?  Who will be the mechanic who works on our cars and sees that they are safe to drive?  Who will be the farmer who grows crops to feed us all?  Who will be the missionary who goes far away to share God with the world?  Who will run the daycare and preschools?  Who will teach the world to sing and love music?  Just think of all the people we need to run our world?  Every occupation is necessary and provides for our livelihood.  Every choice of what to do with our lives is an opportunity to find joy and fulfillment and is a chance to serve others.

We need everyone of these little ones to take their place in the world when the time comes and make their own contribution.  Do you realize what just one of these 75 could do?  One of these children could change their family’s life.  A few could change our town.  A group could change our state.  Together…they could change our world!

We must do our parts to see that they have every opportunity to excel…in their own way.  We must encourage and train and listen and reprimand and challenge and support and discipline and love these little graduates as they move away from the cocoon of their kindergarten classroom into a new and exciting world.  They may take it all in stride.  Others may be overwhelmed.  We must be ready to under gird them when needed  with patience and love and respect.

May God bless them with an inquisitive mind and a spirit of peace.  May He bless them with able bodies and minds to fill with the wonders of His world.  May He cover them always with His arms of safety and protection.  May he fill their hearts with empathy and grace and mercy and may they look for ways to serve others and Him.   And, may they look to Him for guidance, above all else.  I pray each and every tiny soul here today finds the big world they are going into filled with love and kindness and support and opportunities for them to find the fulfillment they and their Heavenly Father desire.   Amen