Message from the Alumni Director
I’ve been re-reading the Old Testament, the Gospels, and Paul’s epistles this year. Through this, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the weight of the disappointment that must have been experienced both by God and His people when Israel failed to recognize the gift of the promised Messiah. In spite of such clear prophecies, Israel let the most momentous event in history go by unnoticed. Talk about anti-climactic! They were looking for a conquering king who would deliver them from oppressive Roman rule. They wanted peace that came with a messiah, but failed to recognize Him. Instead, what they got was a servant who suffered and died. They had desperate need. They had so much hope. But their false expectations only brought disillusionment.
A Gracious Gift Rejected and Denied
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:9-10
What incredible love the Father displayed to us in sending His one and only Son. As I’ve taken time to reflect upon this reality, I can see how easy it is to miss the promises of God within my own life. Hopeful expectations collide with life’s realities. When we fail to recognize His presence, His provision, and His power we too, like Israel, become disillusioned.
Don’t Miss His Appearance
Don’t miss God in the midst of struggles. If you’re single, intimacy can be found within rich community. When your marriage is strained, He is there in the midst of love and humility. If your struggle is infertility, He provides new ways to nurture and to give life. If finances are hard, He makes provision through unforeseen means. All in all He is at work shaping us and teaching us a greater dependence upon Him.
Advent is Here
As we enter into this Advent season, a time of eager anticipation of the coming Messiah, my hope is that this would be a time of prayer and reformation for our hearts. If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas season and if God is to really become incarnate for us, we must not fail to recognize His presence.
In a busy and hurried season where parties, shopping, errands, and events tend to crowd out the true meaning of Christmas, let us aim to create space to know Him more fully. In our hopes, struggles, fears, expectations, and fulfillments, may we recognize His coming and His presence as He gives us ears to hear and eyes to see where He is at work. May this Advent season be a time of hope, transformation, and fulfillment in our lives.
In eager anticipation,
Michelle M. Peel MA ’10, BA ‘00
Director of Alumni Relations