The phrase “its rights and privileges” has often intrigued me. You have heard the phrase. On May 28th, I will address the HLA Class of 2017 “Upon recommendation of Mr. Isaac, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Principal, and by virtue of the authority…granted by the Hillcrest Board of Directors, it is my privilege to award you the Hillcrest Lutheran Academy High School Diploma with all of its rights and privileges.”

What are these “rights and privileges?”

I notice they are attributed to the diploma, not to the individual. Is not this like a driver’s license that grants rights and privileges? The state trooper, who stops you, asks to see your license, not your ability. With a valid license, you have the right and privilege to drive on public roads. Your license may give you the right of driving a motorcycle or bus but not the privilege of exceeding the speed limit.

Scripture declares we are given “rights and privileges” in connection with Jesus Christ. One right is to be a child of God (John 1:12). Another is confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by His blood (Heb 10:19). We have the privileges of a “living hope” (1 Peter 1: 3), a father (“Papa”) relationship with the Eternal God (Gal.4:5), and the invitation to cast our anxieties on God Who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). These are just a few of the rights and privileges God gives us in connection with Jesus Christ.

I’m not sure the graduates will hear me award them a diploma with “rights and privileges” but I pray that they, and each of us, hear the Lord God declare that He has given us His Son in Whom we have all the rights and privileges of being heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:16-17).

Hallelujah! Throw your grad hats in the air! And, make use of your rights and privileges!

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