You, every one of you, were created in the image of God.
Reach up and put your hands on your heart. With every beat, the life God has given you pulses through you. When you feel overwhelmed, or afraid, or just plain exhausted, remember your heart, and know that God knows you inside and out. Tears, laughter, joy and sorrow are all okay. God gave you a heart that you might truly feel.
Close your eyes. Inside your head is a marvelous, miraculous mind. At late night study groups, amid bubbling test tubes, in noisy rehearsal halls, or while sitting with books in the warm California sun - in all the places of “aha” and “eureka”- remember that God made you for creativity and discovery
Look down at your hands. Throughout your life, others have held your hands, washed them, caressed them, bandaged them. You have not come to this moment alone. God’s presence has been with you in all who helped you get to here. Now is a time to stretch your hands toward new horizons, new people, new ways to serve and care for others.
Now look down at your feet, tied up in laces or poking out of flip-flops. God’s incredible handiwork has given you feet to remind you that life is a journey, and college is just one of the forks in the road. Though the road curves just ahead and it may be hard to see around the next corner, God will be there
Now look around at all who are part of this gathering. These wonderful people who surround you are created in the image of God, too. Some of these folks have known you all your life. Most of these folks you don’t know, but some of them are about to be your best friends. All of them are your traveling companions. When you look into their faces, see the image of God in each one
Gracious, life-giving God, we offer into your hands these beautiful, creative, dynamic, thoughtful students, and give this year to your care. In this moment of anticipation and emotion, give us comfort and joy in knowing you were present yesterday, you are here now, and you will be with us tomorrow and all the days to come. In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray, Amen.