Rev. Robert Ives ’69, Bowdoin’s Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, delivered the invocation for the College’s 209th Commencement exercises May 24, 2014.
Be not afraid … be not afraid.
When Moses was on Mount Sinai he heard those words in his mind and in his heart, and courageously went forth to free the Hebrew people from their bondage and slavery.
When Mary was to bear a child she heard the words: “Be not afraid,” and she gave birth to a child born in Bethlehem.
When Martin Luther King Jr. was a young man, he heard the words: “Be not afraid,” and went forth to preach and teach about equality, human dignity and civil rights for all of God’s people.
And so today as you the Class of 2014, set forth from this college to journey into the world before you, I share with you those same words a of old: Be not afraid.
Don’t be afraid to go forth and live the lives you are truly called to live.
Be not afraid to be the unique creation you have been blessed, and honored and ordained to be.
Be not afraid to come out and to come forth to share truth, and honesty and integrity.
Be not afraid to fail, and to make mistakes, but to see all failing as an opportunity to learn and to change, to improve and to grow.
Be not afraid to live well and to laugh often, to love and to serve, and to hold fast to that which is good.
Be not afraid to work at professions that bring meaning more than money, that bring satisfactionmore than security, that bring goodness more than gain.
Be not afraid to stand up for the high ideals of life, to speak truth where there is falsehood, and uphold justice where there is inequity.
Be not afraid to have hope when there is discouragement, and vision when there is darkness.
Be not afraid to ponder the presence of the Holy, and to show reverence for Sacred around and within us.
Be not afraid to live without fear, to love without reserve, and to willingly work for the common good of all.
Fear not, members of this Bowdoin Class of 2014, and may God’s peace, and courage and Blessings be with you both this day and forevermore.