J.P. Smith Describes a June Day

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This is the month (halfway through the year) for commencements - which signify both endings and beginnings. In his collection of inspirational meditations titled Brightside Idyls: Every Week of the Year, Southern Presbyterian minister James Power Smith has this to day about a June day.

A Day in June.

Not many things are as bright and fair as a day in June. It must have been a June day of which George Herbert sang:

"Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky.”

Spring has come to its crowning day, and nature opens all its richer beauty of greenery and flowers. If it is "the leafy month of June," it is also the month of sweet perfumes, the month of bees and birds, of long, balmy days and of fair, green landscapes. It was our American Lowell who wrote:

"And what is so rare as a day in June,
Then, if ever, come perfect days.”

It is well the schools open their doors at the coming of June, and send the throngs of boys and girls out into the lanes and fields. Books are well, but freedom and play are also well. Now must come the happy parties, with their well-stored baskets, to find a picnic place under the trees, be side the streams, and spend a long holiday in joy unrestrained. School days for profit and training, and June days for fishing and ranging and boating to the heart's content.

What a time it is for commencements! Examinations are all over, and diplomas are awarded, and degrees won, and these bright June days great companies of youth will leave the colleges for good. What a serious time Commencement Day is! It is the ending of so much: school days, book learning, mind training, long years of discipline and education; yet it is the commencement of more. It is the threshold across which they pass from narrow school to the great out-door of free and self-directed manhood and womanhood. Flowers and sheepskins, sermons and appeals, final frolics and silent hand-clasps, tearful home travel, and then come commencements indeed.

What would the world come to if the forces that battle were not reinforced by the June commencements! What a splendid infusion of young life! What a grand addition to the powers working for progress and uplift are the ambitions and hopes of the young! We lay the old warrior down to rest and cover him with laurels, and then turn to meet the young soldier coming on the field and crown him with the roses of June. Long may he Stand, strong and brave, win battles in his own breast, and then win battles for his brothers and for the world. All the future of the home, and the State and the church depend on the army of young men and women who come to their commencements in June.

Just as it was in 1904 when this was written, so it is in our day. Commencement days in June mark new beginnings for students and families in the 21st century too. We wish congratulations to those who have passed this milestone after years of study and hard work, along with their families, and it is our prayer for all the students who are graduating that you will continue to seek God’s glory in all of your endeavors, and be richly blessed in the service of your King.