Thursday, December 15, 2011

Celebrating the Season

Last week's university wide Christmas party was a great time to get together as a university family. Many of you witnessed my "musical debut" on the cell phone jingle bells app, (pictured at left) along with the rest of the band, from left, featuring webmaster Mark Roedel on bass, Chaplain Dr. Harold Carl and Dr. Karl Payton on guitars, adjunct professors Wray Boyd on harmonica and Ruth Hathaway on fiddle.

At the party, Dr. Bill Graff and I compared our festive Christmas ties (at right). Many of you know he is renowned for his extensive collection of ties. It was a pleasure to take some time Friday to celebrate together.

As I have mentioned before, I often read the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture. In one of his columns this week, Jim Denison reflected on Mary, the mother of Jesus, when he wrote:

The Jewish people taught their daughters to pray every night that they might be chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. Everyone assumed, however, that this great honor would be bestowed on a daughter of the high priest or someone else of great status. Meanwhile, a peasant teenage girl was living in a town so tiny it's not mentioned even once in the Old Testament.The angel Gabriel announced to her great shock that she would be the mother of "the Son of the Most High" (Luke 1:32).

Mary would risk her marriage and even her life if she accepted this calling. Nonetheless, she chose to say, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said" (v. 38). She would later testify, "From now on all generations will call me blessed" (v. 48). And she was right.

The story of Mary's courage and faith inspires me as we take time to focus on the birth of our Messiah during this time of year. While today we recognize that Christmas means making memories and spending precious time with family and friends, it also is a time to remember that God can do eternal things with people who are committed and submitted to Him.