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To the Class of 2020

Updated: Jul 22

The last time you were at school, zipping up your backpack and grabbing whatever books from your locker or dorm room, you had no idea you were walking the halls of your school for the last time.


You didn't know it was the last time you would sit in your favorite class, catch up with your friends in the hallway, or drive home on the bus you've ridden every day since Kindergarten.


And yet, you've chosen joy in the midst of great confusion in this unprecedented time.

You've gathered online, in your backyards, in your driveways, and on your rooftops to commemorate this end that doesn't quite feel like an end or a beginning.


Let me let you in on a little secret though: It feels that way even when you do walk across a stage in front of your classmates and their parents and family.


Milestones are weird like that. What's happening to you doesn't hit in just one moment because it took so many moments to get there. So many moments that shaped you - moments that you're not really leaving behind because they made you who you are today. And there are so many more to come - defining ones, big wins, tragic losses, and all the little things in between that will continue to chisel away at your heart and mind to form you into the person you're constantly becoming.


Now, you already had Michelle and Barack Obama give your commencement speeches. World famous singers performed concerts to help send you off. And all your favorite celebrities took to Instagram to wish you well.


There's not much left to say, so I thought I'd just share with you the words I started 2020 with. They're the words of Jesus. A question, four words.


Do you love me?


In the Bible, we see one of Jesus' closest friends, Peter, deny even knowing Jesus right before Jesus is about to die for him (and for you and me). He does this not once, but three times, though just hours before he adamantly promised Jesus he would never do such a thing.


Now let me stop right here, because this is where it's really easy for all of us to say, "I would never do what Peter did." But, if you're a follower of Jesus, I guarantee you've done this a lot more than three times.


We constantly choose other things before Jesus. We lack courage and boldness to live out our identity as sons and daughters of the King. We spend our time worrying about what others think and miss opportunities to proclaim his name. Just like Peter.


But, there are two really amazing things about this story.


The first is that Jesus still died for Peter, knowing he was saying these very words, "I do not know him (Luke 22.57)."


The second is that when Jesus rose again, he talked with Peter. And in this conversation, Peter doesn't question Jesus' love for him - he knows Jesus loves him. But, Jesus does question Peter's love for him. Not just once, but three times.


"Do you love me more than these (John 21.15)?"


This is the question I walked into 2020 with. (Shoutout to God speaking through this message at Passion).


And, Class of 2020, this is the question I'd urge you to ask yourselves as you hang up your high school or college diplomas and step into whatever comes next.


Do you love me?


More than, "What am I going to do with my life?," "What's next?," and "How am I going to make a future in the midst of a global pandemic?," answer Jesus' question.


Do you love me?


Wrestle with it. Think about what you chase and love most.


Because your answer to this question will determine all the rest of the answers.


Where you go. What you do. How you love. What you live for.


Do you love me?


Congratulations, class of 2020. Praying that graduating in the midst of a global pandemic defines your generation in the best possible way.



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