The Biggest Reunion

“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Fifty years is a long time. Half a century. It’s also just a breath, feather-light and temporary. 

My husband and I just attended our high school reunion. We made a two day trek across the states to join other grads of ’72 with gray hair, creased skin and experience under our belts. Our celebration was unique because a small Christian school in the wheat fields of Kansas nurtured us decades ago not only educationally but also with God’s Word. 

Several of us dated and married high school sweethearts. Although we’ve not seen some since graduation, many walked with us throughout our ministry. Back when we were a young family with three little girls called to serve in Italy we benefited from their practical support and listening ears. Hearts passionate about missions followed us through another baby, health crises and reached across the waters with encouragement and prayer. 

We hugged friends who remember names of our children. Generations piled up. Children and grandchildren are alumni of the same school. 

We laughed at the complexities of aging, wept with the sorrows of each other and prayed together. 

Berean Academy class of 1972 class president. Edward Flora

We mourned the hole left by the first one of us to see Jesus, yet rejoiced because we know beyond doubt she truly graduated before the rest of us older graduates. Her faith is sight while we still anticipate the best yet to come.  

“We won’t have another reunion 50 years from now,” our forever class president remarked.

Today my husband and I hit the road to head back home. A lovely warm glow accompanies from seeing some of my friends again, although it is tinged with the realization there will not be another opportunity quite like the one we just enjoyed.  

After Jesus died, rose and ascended, a small band of followers stood on the threshold of the rest of their lives like high school seniors ready to embark on life. They spread out, not knowing when or if they would see one another again.  Fifty years later, some had given their lives for Jesus, Rome had decimated Jerusalem, the disciples had spread across the known world, and the baby church faced challenges from within and without. There were victories. There were sorrows. Births and burials. Laughter. Tears and joy. Excitement and deep disappointment.

Jesus’ disciples looked back with awe at the cross of Christ. They looked forward to seeing Him again. These realities tied them together when they were apart. It bound their hearts with one purpose. It returned them again and again to redemption paid in full. It promised that someday it would be worth it all, a true graduation reunion.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  2 Cor. 4:16-18 ESV

Easter season turns our eyes again to an empty cross so we do not “lose heart when our outer self wastes away.” 

The result is always renewed gratefulness, inner vigor and unmitigated awe. 

Jesus set for us the example. He looked far beyond the pain and shame He would endure. He set His eyes on the joy beyond. 

“…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 ESV

I cannot read this without a humbling revelation. I am His joy. You are His joy. His death completed the way for our salvation. This purpose brought Him as a babe, accompanied his steps on our earth, nailed Him to a cross and resurrected Him. 

We look back at the cross so we can set our eyes ahead and beyond. 

It is a privilege to push back the wrinkles of time to see God’s hand in the life stories He has intricately woven. Threads of sorrow and suffering are always covered with His faithfulness. “…Preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…”

Sins forgiven. Eternity secured. Relationship with God restored. Jesus looked beyond the pain to the joy. And we follow His example.

The Biggest Reunion will be epic. 


*feature photo from class of 1972 president, General Edward Flora



Please check out my recent article, A Cleaned Cup, at Refresh Bible Study Magazine.

18 Replies

  1. John Certalic Reply

    You write so well, Sylvia, reflecting on the important things of life and how the Lord is involved in it all. What a blessing to have such deep spiritual roots as yours.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks John. The funny thing about how you phrased that is simply when my parents uprooted me from public school and honestly forced me go to the Christian school it was my first uprooting of many many more. God was faithful then and it was so important for my walk with Him and all the future uprootings. So yes, what a blessing to be uprooted in order to have the wonderful roots He provided. Thanks John!

  2. Janet Certalic Reply

    I loved being reminded that we are Jesus’s joy.Thank you for sharing your heart and your experiences so well.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Janet for the encouragement. Aren’t you glad Jesus looked beyond?!

  3. Cleo Waters Reply

    Your story invokes memories lodged in my mind. Life is fleeting and I don’t think we truly realize that until we’ve marked time with reunions such as you have written about.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Cleo! Life is fleeting and you are right, markers like the reunion remind us to realize our time belongs to Him.

  4. Katherine Pasour Reply

    I recently had my 50th as well. What a joy to see those dear people again! I love the way you go from your reunion to the joy we will experience as we join Jesus. What an uplifting message! Thank you.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Katherine! Well, I guess that dates us, huh? I’m glad you related and found it uplifting!

  5. Annie Yorty Reply

    Amen, Sylvia! And I love the reminder that we are the joy saw set before Him as He hung on the cross. Who am I that God would do that for me??

  6. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, I’m always amazed by the way you craft entertaining stories and connect them to solid biblical teaching. I’m still pondering these sentences: “I am His joy. You are His joy.” Thank you for connecting your joyous celebration to our faith and joy—both now and in the future.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I have been blown away by the thought that Jesus looked so far ahead to those He loved to complete what was before Him. Thank you for reading Jeannie. I always appreciate your encouraging words.

  7. Marilyn Krehbiel Reply

    Dear Syl, YES!!! YES!!! What a honor the LORD has blessed us with to review the past 50 years. This brings awe & fear , hope & despair, past & future!!! But PTL the positive FAR out weighs the negative because of HIM, our BLESSED REDEEMER!!!! May we focus on our future generations, Lord willing, We just received the awesome news of being blessed with another great grandchild!!! Thanks Syl, for your deep love our LORD JESUS CHRIST !! You are inspiring and such a faithful friend!! Blessings

  8. Betty Harder Reply

    So very good to see you both at the reunion. Wish we could have had a bit more time as there was so little time unless you stayed for the extra time at the old gym. Great night. So glad I could make it there. Your blog was so good, as usual.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Betty. It was wonderful to see you as well! I’m so glad we got to go.

  9. Candyce Carden Reply

    I’m in the midst of planning my class of ’72 reunion! How your post hit home! I especially loved and agree with this statement: “It is a privilege to push back the wrinkles of time to see God’s hand in the life stories He has intricately woven.”

    My faith has grown stronger through the years because of this truth.

    Thank you

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      That’s so fun that you were a ’72-er. I do hope your reunion is a blessing as was ours. God’s stories are such faith strengtheners!