For the past forty-three days, Pastor Babette Chatman, Pastoral Intern Sarah Swindall, and I have offered “A Prayer for…” as a prayer ministry for the Augsburg University community and beyond. This Campus Ministry Office prayer journey was intended to provide support, hope, healing, and courage through the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, a time significantly altered due to the global pandemic. Our personal prayers for you and the world will continue as we hold fast to the promises of God in Christ Jesus in these trying days. But today, we complete “A Prayer for…” on May 4 – the day the Augsburg community was slated to gather at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the 2020 Commencement Ceremony. A live viewing of Augsburg’s virtual graduation will happen at the end of the month with the hope of an in-person graduation at a later date. To mark the day Augsburg’s graduation was originally scheduled, we offer A PRAYER FOR GRADUATES as graduation season begins for colleges, universities, and high schools across our country. We name the sadness that comes with alternative and somewhat muted celebrations with our inability to gather in our normal ways. But in the same breath, we celebrate the achievements of all the graduates among us as they journey forth into a future that needs their skills, gifts, compassion, stewardship, ingenuity, and loving service. So, we offer this prayer, this blessing for graduates.
2 Corinthians 9:8:
“God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”
Let us pray:
Gracious God of every abundant blessing: we rejoice in the achievements of this year’s graduates. We celebrate your presence in their lives through the love and support of parents, siblings, partners, family, dear friends, mentors, teachers, professors, coaches, and other community partners. We are grateful for all who have made this moment possible. Support and strengthen the graduates as they journey into unknown futures complicated by coronavirus. As they journey into these unprecedented times, may they know your guidance. In their acts of justice, may they share in every good work to which you have led them. In their concerns and fears, may they know your peace. In their faithful witness, may they know your steadfast love. Bless them and sustain them as they go forth called to serve the neighbor in your mercy. This we pray in hope and thanksgiving. Amen.
Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres