>Graduation Week

>As most of you have noticed, I have not posted to the blog for several days now. The reason for not posting is because this was the last week of the Spring Quarter at Northern Seminary. And, I have to say, it was a very busy week.

This week I had to teach one class, give a final exam in another course, and attend to several issues related to the online course I taught this quarter. The online course was time-consuming and limited the amount of postings I was able to post to the blog this quarter.

Then, on Thursday and Friday I met with the Board of Trustees of the Seminary. I serve as the Faculty Representative on the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees and as such, I was involved with committee meetings for two days, from morning to evening.

Today, Saturday, was Graduation Day. Since I also serve as the Faculty Marshall, I was involved in planning and organizing the Processional and the Recessional for Commencement. We had a glorious day. Today we graduated a group of men and women who spent several years preparing themselves to serve the Lord. These graduates will go to their places of service with the confidence that they have received a good theological education at Northern Seminary, the kind of education that has equipped them well for effective ministry.

This year I was invited to offer the Commissioning Prayer for the graduates during Commencement. Below is the commissioning prayer:

Prayer of Commissioning

Dear Lord,

Today is a glorious day for these your servants who have come to the end of this phase of their theological education. They have worked hard to achieve the goals which they set for themselves, and by you grace, they were able to fulfill their dreams.

Today these graduates are sent into the world to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, to help the needy, to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to cloth the naked, and to minister to people everywhere. As they go, they will go to a difficult and complex world.

You are sending them out like sheep among wolves. As they go, anoint them with your Holy Spirit and sustain them with your love. Give them the strength to do your will and the willingness to be obedient to your word.

As shepherds of God’s flock, may your servants take care of your flock and feed your people. May each one of them lead your people with knowledge and understanding.

As prophets of God and ministers of the word, let them give their lives for the truth of God. Let their prayers reach the throne of grace on behalf of those in need of your grace. In the midst of loneliness uphold them by your spirit that they may remain faithful to the mission you have entrusted to them.

May your spirit lead them in the right path, keeping them from all forces of evil and destruction. Help them to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, and patience. Help them fight the good fight of faith. Let them take care of the church of God that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified through their ministry.

We now send them to their places of ministry with your blessing:

May your servants be blessed in the name of God the Father:
The LORD bless you and keep you;

May your servants be blessed in the name of God the Son:
The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

May your servants be blessed in the name of God the Holy Spirit:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

And now, may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the flock, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may God work in you what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary


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