Wed 6th June 2012 St John’s college Valedictory service in Durham Cathedal.
Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-10, Eph 3:14-21
Preacher: Kate Bruce (Chaplain)
I cannot remember a great deal of the sermon except a few points. A certain dog featured many times, much to everyone’s amusement (Kate has a dog, Asher, who is almost always with Kate around the college). I think I remember that Kate was trying to reassure those who are leaving that just as life seems so strange when they arrived at John’s so leaving can be just as unsettling. For many leaving college there is a gateway into a future which holds promise and uncertainty. However there is a message of grace and the love of God. No matter what mess we find ourselves in, when life is good or hard, whether we are confused or riding high, no matter where we find ourselves, God loves us and can strengthen us, encourage us and guide us. That is essentially the message I heard. I’m sure I’ve missed bits out and skewed it to my own perspective but I guess that is perhaps what I needed to hear from which I receive as if from the heart of God as in fact I believe it is.
For me the image that came to me is the gateway, that liminal place between the now and the future. The service left me with a sense of someone blowing a candle out and saying “Its time to go”. Indeed it is.