As in past years, I had the great privilege to attend the Year 12 Farewell Dinner last Thursday evening at Serafino’s Restaurant in McLaren Vale. The evening is significant in that it not only is a lovely way to farewell our Year 12 graduates, but as a community we celebrate their efforts and acknowledge the significant sacrifices of parents/caregivers and other significant adults whose investment in and support for each young person over 13 years of schooling is substantial.
While 13 years of schooling is not insignificant, it is but a drop in the ocean over what becomes our lifetimes.
What always strikes me in acknowledging these students is the immeasurable potential that each young man and woman takes into the next stage of their lives – whether that be TAFE, university, employment or a gap year. It is nights such as these with our students that gives me hope.
As a Christian school we believe that our hope and the hope of the world is found in Jesus Christ.
I asked the graduating students to consider hope and the importance of hope in our fallen and often turbulent world. While many of our students do not profess a personal faith – the Bible tells us that where there is faith, even as small as a mustard seed, there is hope.
I am reminded about the Israelites when they were in exile in Assyria and they associated with people from other lands who had different beliefs and values. The Israelites, strayed from the values they had been taught – with devastating results.
The writer of 2 Kings 17 says in Vs 15 ‘They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.’
We become what we follow.
As our precious young people move into the world, my prayer is that they guard their hearts, think carefully about who and what they follow and remain the promise of hope for our world.