On May 30, 2019, Wheaton Christian Grammar School commissioned the class of 2019 to high school at a celebratory and worship-filled ceremony. This year’s commencement featured music from the 8th grade members of the Concert Band, Orchestra, and Choir, student testimonies, giving of the class gift, awarding of diplomas, and a few words from our Head of School, Steve Clum. The commencement speaker was WCGS graduate (Class of ’80), school dad, and Wheaton College President, Dr. Phil Ryken.
As the students prepared for the evening, they gathered in the back of the and were led in a devotional and prayer by Mr. Burgess, Assistant Principal of Spiritual Life. They were full of energy, excitement, and sentiment as they gathered as a class one last time before going separate ways. As the students got ready to go in the sanctuary, they walked down the hallway lined by faculty and staff, giving high fives and hugs along the way. This was also the first class to attend kindergarten-8th grade in the new building on 1N350 Taylor Drive.
After music and student testimonies, Dr. Ryken took the stage to give a charge to the class of 2019. He spoke on the worth of living for Christ based on their class verse, Acts 20:24: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
As a former student, he explained why a WCGS education was worth it to him and asked the students to consider why it was worth it for them. He mentioned some of his own WCGS experiences: learning the Gospel, finding out how to win humbly and lose graciously in sports, receiving a great education, and every day walking past the cornerstone in the front of the building that says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” But he continued, telling the graduates that the thing their teachers want them to remember the most is that knowing and receiving the good news of Jesus is the most precious thing they could have.
This is the point that Paul made in Acts 20. He believed that knowing Jesus is the most “worth it” thing in the world – even more than his very life. He went on to say a few verses later that we are bought with the precious blood of Jesus. That tells us how much we are worth to the Son of God – worth his sacrifice on the cross for our sins. It also tells us how much Jesus should be worth to us – worth a whole lifetime of serving Him.
He urged the students to trust in Jesus and if they haven’t, to do so that night. He challenged them that they are not too young to do something with their lives that is truly worthwhile.
“Trust in Jesus. Live for Jesus. Find your joy in Jesus. Nothing is more worth it. In fact, I think Jesus is the only thing in the world that really is worth it. Do not count your life as of any value or as precious to yourself. Just run the race that Jesus gave you to run and share the gospel of the grace of God.”
Following commencement, the Class of 2019, their families, friends, and faculty and staff attended a reception to continue the celebration of the Lord’s work. There were 76 graduates in the Class of 2019, representing 74 families. Of these 74 families, 39 of them were graduating their youngest child and have been a part of the WCGS family for a combined total of 328 years. Some of these families had children at WCGS for up to 15, 16, 17, and even 21 years!
Next year, the Class of 2019 will be attending a multitude of different schools: Wheaton Academy, Wheaton North, Glenbard West High School, and more. This class also performed well in the classroom, with 70% having made the honor roll or high honor roll.
We are excited for this gifted and loving class as they move on to high school next year. The Lord is going to do great things in their lives, just as He already has. Please be in prayer for the Class of 2019 as they make this transition. To God be the glory!