Graduate Jacob Boe (second from left) is pictured at the baccalaureate service with his family, from left, father Jeff, sister Jordyn and mother DeAnn. Photo by David Richards
By David Richards
"I have my cup of coffee, so I'm ready for a sermon," said Pastor Darby Lawrence, of both East and West St. Olaf Lutheran Churches.
Pastor Lawrence gave the scripture and meditation at the Byron High School baccalaureate service, held at United Methodist Church June 2.
He began his message, which encouraged the graduates to "know who you are," by giving an inventory of what was behind the church's pulpit as he was a visiting pastor.
"Let's see here, we not only have one glass of water, but two glasses of water," he said. "And we not only have one hammer, but two hammers, and a book of matches. And there's also a Bible. 'What's that doing here?' "
Pastor Lawrence mixed in humor generously throughout his sermon that was also filled with a dose of reality.
"It's an extremely exciting time," he said. "But it's also a scary time. 'Are you sick of everyone asking what are you going to do now? 'I don't know is an OK answer.' "
The pastor went on to urge the graduates to know who they are, "because if you don't know you'll be in trouble," he told them.
"First, and foremost you belong to God," he said.
He then gave the analogy of the insurance commercials that say, "in case something should happen ..."
"Trust me," Pastor Lawrence told the graduates. "Something will happen. Some may be good, exciting, just what you wanted. And some will be tough, staggering, but they will not get the best of you.
"Don't be afraid of failing. If you're going to strive for great things, and I want you to, the risk is it could all go wrong ..." he said. "If you try something worth doing, that's always going to be the risk. ... Things are going to happen, but it's the only way to get things done. In case it does, hang in there, there's a blessing in there. You may walk a little different afterward, but that's character."
In addition to Pastor Lawrence's message, the service included a variety of hymns and passages, including a blessing on the graduates.
There was even an appearance by the Byron High School quartet made up of Andrew Lawrence, Nick Laning, Alex Long and Jay Puffer. They performed a rendition of "Just a Little Talk."