Summary: A graduation sermon that can also be applied to each one of our daily lives as well.
Graduation day is finally here. I’m glad for those that are graduating, and I’m glad for their parents. It’s probably a toss-up as to which ones are the happiest. This is a graduation sermon and it will be directed primarily at Lee and Mike, who are our graduates this year. However, I want everyone here to listen to the message in this sermon, because it is for each one of you, also.
Graduation Day. “G” Day for short. Of course the “G” could stand for anything. It could even stand for groundhog, couldn’t it? You know what a groundhog is, don’t you? It is that furry little animal that co-starred with Bill Murray in the movie, ‘Ground Hog Day.’
For those of you who have not seen it, let me give you a brief synopsis. Bill Murray plays an obnoxious newscaster who is sent to Puxatawney, Pennsylvania for the official Ground Hog day. That is the day when the ground hog comes out of its hiding place. The legend is that if he sees his shadow, we will have six more weeks of winter, and if he doesn’t see his shadow we will have an early and warm summer. It may not be a big deal out west here, but back east they actually live for that tradition!
Anyway, Bill Murray hates this assignment, and he tries to hurry everyone into getting this job done so he can get back to the comforts of home. What he doesn’t know is that he’s doomed to relive Ground Hog day over and over again, until he gets it right by treating nice instead of how badly he treats them now. All of this leads to a very funny movie. The movie hinges all around one very important day. A day that just kept repeating itself, giving this man chance after chance to finally get it right.
I looked up the word ‘day’ in the Bible and was surprised by how many meanings there were. “Day” could refer to a 24 hour period or to an infinite period of time, like the day of salvation. And the phrase “last days” has a unique meaning, all to itself. Today, I will be talking about a day, and the meaning will be referring to a time of opportunity. A time of opportunity for all of us broadly, and for Mike and Lee specifically, to get it right.
In JOHN 9:4, Jesus says,
“As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no man can work.”
In this verse, Jesus is telling us we must do God’s work while we have the chance, because there will be a time coming when the day of opportunity will be over and we will never get a chance to do it after that. And so, we all have a day of opportunity given to us, and we must now decide if we are going to use it for God or not.
Lee and Mike, you are facing a time of opportunity in which you can literally make your life anything you’d like for it to be. So, decide this day whether you are going to use it to get it right the first time around. Bill Murray had many chances to get it right, but as your new day begins, you don’t know how many chances you will have, so I encourage you to make sure you get it right on the first try.
In times past, it has often been young adults like yourselves, who have ignited the fires of passion within the church. You have been raised in the way of the Lord, and now you are getting ready to begin your own life. No matter where your life takes you, I encourage you to stay in church. Take your unique skills and insight, your idealism and enthusiasm – and ignite fires of passion in that church.
In the movie, Bill Murray poses this question: “What if there isn’t a tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”
Everybody, please listen to this. What if there isn’t a tomorrow? What if this day is all you have? As today slips into nightime, are you going to be sure you did all you could for Jesus? Are you going to make sure you got it right today?
I have three challenges that I want to offer you this morning.
1. BE PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE
Like it or not, we are all accountable to somebody for some thing. The biggest area of personal accountability we have is to God.
ROMANS 14:12 tells us,
‘So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.’
In MATTHEW 12:36, we are reminded again how accountable we are.
‘But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.’