Your mama posted that picture on Facebook. The one of you with your parents and standing with and Papa Sargent holding the ceremony book. Another event from your life I’ve missed because of the miles and miles in between.
So now you are Senior Soldiers in your church. It’s a big step to sign that Covenant, the promises you’re making but you girls have lived those out already. You’ve been taught well. You’ve spent summers with your Auntie watching her organize a day camp for kids and the after school program she ran helping to make a difference in the lives of others.
You’ve lived most of your short lives next door to a Grandma who was tireless in her service to God. You were her Sunbeams and she was proud of you girls. She loved hearing you sing, Jordan, and Maddie, oh Maddie she would be so proud to see and hear you play the piano. I know she would. Even in her dementia, her not knowing you, you visit her and help bring smiles to her face. That’s love girls, because you’ve been loved your whole life.
You had what few have when your great-grandparents moved there and, again, showed you what commitment and faithfulness looked like. You have been in the midst of God’s Soldiers working and serving and loving. And now, you’ve made a public declaration you want to be part of this Army. The world needs this kind of Army. The kind whose fight is done with service to others, giving glory to God.
But listen to me girls, this Army is just one of many parts of God’s Kingdom. His workers are many and the most important thing isn’t what you wear to church on Sunday but what you wear in your hearts every day. That’s the most important thing you’ve seen in your family. This is the real covenant to sign. This isn’t about what you do Sunday morning or if you join the band or wave a tambourine but how you live everyday. This is about allowing God to be present in all of your life, to show His presence by how you treat others. It’s about smiling at those who need to see your light today and slowing down to listen to the old person that talks soooo sloooowww.
This Army isn’t perfect, but you know that. You haven’t even graduated school and the future may take you to different places and different churches, if you can imagine that. But this Army needs you. This Army needs your willingness to be part of its mission to meet human need without discrimination and do this in the name of God. It needs you to sing and play the piano and help at Christmas with the food boxes. It needs you to carry on the work however that will look.
The Army may not always be where you find yourselves on Sunday mornings, but it will always be your home. It will always be a mission you are part of because you have been called by God to be part of His service to others. Remember that word, girls: OTHERS.