The end of the academic year is upon us. Bethlehem College & Seminary will celebrate commencement on May 13th as they honor another graduating class of God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-dependent, and Bible-saturated students who will deploy into the world for the sake of the Name above all names. These are exciting days. Our school continues to seriously and joyfully equip students and send them out for the glory of God. What we ask of you is that you would continue to join this great cause by prayerfully supporting our school, our current students, and our graduates.
New beginnings are a reality for our graduates. They have thought deeply over the last several years at Bethlehem, and now it is time for them to leave this institution. Some will begin new pastorates or plant new churches; others will begin new careers, and a few may start new courses of study. Beginning something new, while exciting, is often a bit unsettling. Would you pray for the students who are entering a new phase of life? We would ask that you pray for:
1. Confidence that God is for them.
2. Patience as they settle into a new phase of life.
3. Seriousness about the task God has called them to in this next season.
4. Unshakable joy in Jesus, despite any hardships or trials they may encounter.
Most importantly, we send out our graduating students, so that they push back the kingdom of darkness with the light of the gospel. The Devil and his demons should shudder as they look upon the gospel-advancing army of Bethlehem College & Seminary students. Our prayer is that through the ministry of our graduates the gospel will flourish to the praise of God’s glorious grace.
In the 19th century, Basil Manly Jr. wrote a hymn for the graduates of his school. The end of the hymn contains these words: “We meet to part, but part to meet; When earthly labors are complete …” Many of our students met at Bethlehem College & Seminary several years ago. Now, having completed their courses of study, they are set to once again part ways. However, Christians know that when our “earthly labors are complete,” we will once again “meet” in that heavenly city. Therefore, though we close another year, and in some sense part ways, we look forward to the day when Christ returns and gathers his people fully and finally to his glorious kingdom.
Then we will have a new beginning that never ends.
Jonathon Woodyard Graduating Seminary Student
Fred Iglesia’s message at Chapel, April 28, 2016, “Advancing God’s Kingdom: Engaging Effectively in Evangelism”