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Graduate Chapel Message

Thomas Whitley

Today is the Graduate Chapel at Gardner-Webb's Divinity School. Each of us who are graduating have been given the opportunity to reflect for a minute or two on our experiences over the past few years. My remarks are below.

Two years ago I gave a chapel message after we returned from our Jewish-Christian Relations in America trip which travelled to D.C., Charleston, Savannah, and Asheville. The title of that message was “We Remember.” I talked of the Holocaust and how while Elie Wiesel could never forget, we will always remember.

That message rings true today as we graduates prepare to close out this stage in our lives. There have been many heartaches over the past 3 ½ years for us that we can never forget, but today we can make the choice to actively remember.

Our memories are all different and I thank God for that, but common threads weave them together. From classes to discussions in the lounge to trips that we have taken around this country and around the world, strong bonds have been created and even stronger memories have been forged. Hold tightly to these memories, cherish them, believe in them. Each graduate may remember something different, but what I most vividly and am most actively remembering is that as Christians and as graduates we are to be people of peace and people of hope.

As I ended my chapel message two years ago: when we say we remember, it means that we hope.

We hope for the future.

We hope for a future that is better than our past and better than our present and we work intentionally to bring that future about.