I am giving this letter to this year's high school graduates of the church I pastor.

Dear Graduate,

Congratulations on this milestone in your life. You now are among the best educated, most privileged people on the planet, with opportunities before you that most of the human race could not even dream of. “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48b) Live your life wisely, in a godly way, and be a blessing in this world. Whether God takes you around the world, or keeps you in Apache, remember who you are—a Christian, blessed by God to be a blessing—and be careful who you become.

(cont. below)

I would like to give you three words of advice as you turn this corner of your life, moving from dependency to independency, from youth to adulthood. First, always have a church home. “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) Christians need to worship God together, to learn more from God’s Word together, and to serve God together. If you stay in Apache, I hope you will continue here at our church; if you move away then find another church where you are. If there is no Reformed or Christian Reformed congregation nearby, call me for advice. Second, be consistent in your private prayer life and personal daily worship (some call this Daily Devotions). “O LORD, in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.” (Psalm 5:3) “But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.” (Psalm 59:16) Third, show Christian love to all, but choose carefully those who will be your friends. Your friends will help you be a better person, or a worse. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

Do these things and you can avoid the great temptations that will be before you: to make money and status your ultimate goal; to devote yourself to pleasure; to scoff at virtue, godliness, and truth. What is sometimes called “postmodernism” is simply a new term for the old sinful practice of “scoffing,” of disbelieving in truth. In their heart of hearts everyone believes in Truth, in Right and Wrong—lie on the witness stand in testimony against the most radical postmodernist and he will denounce you as having done Wrong. Scoffing at virtue is the amusement of fools.

Finally, remember that your baptism is the beginning of the Christian life, like a seed that we pray sprouts and bears fruit. We hope that you will take the next step, publicly confessing Jesus as Lord before the congregation. Then, living out your baptism and confession every day.

God bless you. Call or email me any time you wish.

p.s. If the road ahead looks like it might be too muddy, don’t go forward unless you must.