Based On: Colossians 2:6-7
Dear students, parents, relatives, and friends.
Well, students, you have finished another year of school. What will you do over the summer? Perhaps your family has travel plans or you will be attending camp this summer. Perhaps you are really excited about the idea of having no plans whatsoever for summer. Regardless of your summer plans, please remember that whatever you do, continue to live in Jesus Christ. “Continue to live in him” – these words were written for all Christians – those in Kindergarten, those in 1st grade, all the way up to 8th grade and even older.
“Continue to live in him.” How does this happen? We continue to live in him just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord. We live in Jesus in the same way we came to faith in Jesus – through God’s Word and baptism. Most of you became a child of God when you, as a baby, were baptized – either at this baptismal font or another. You didn’t do anything, but God’s Word through baptism created faith in your heart.
In the same way continue to live in Christ. Continue to live in him by reading and studying God’s Word and by remembering your baptism by which you came to faith. And now for some of the 8th graders, you join the rest of the confirmed members in the Lord’s Supper.
By doing this – studying God’s Word and remembering your baptism, you will be “rooted and built up in him.” All of you have seen the big tree out by the sandbox. The roots go down and grab the soil and I don’t think any of you could push that tree over – or even all of you together. By continuing to live in Christ you are like that tree – the problems of life and the bad things that happen to you will not push you over.
You will also be built up like a building made from the hardest stone, built on the foundation that is Jesus Christ – and so you will be strong and able to defend yourself against the attacks of Satan and this world when they try to tell you to do something wrong.
You will be rooted and built up – your faith will grow and get stronger by studying God’s Word. You will be “strengthened in the faith as you were taught.” What is this faith we were taught? I’m sure each of you can tell me what this faith is. Throughout this past school year you were taught this faith by your teachers, by Pastor Werrre and Pastor Laper, and by me.
You were taught that ever since Adam and Eve, everyone does what God says is wrong. For that we deserve God’s punishment – we don’t deserve to go to heaven and be with God. But God loves us and sent Jesus to live a perfect life for us and die on the cross for all the wrong things we did. Now we will go to heaven and be with Jesus forever – a permanent vacation from the sadness of this life.
Now, as you go on vacation this summer, visit relatives, or perhaps attend camp – as you participate in whatever events the summer hold for you, remember your baptism that made you a child of God. Continue to read and study God’s Word, and continue to live in Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the one who spent all of his summers (and every fall, winter, and spring) living his life for you and then died on the cross for you so you could live forever with him in heaven.