You probably realize that even though there are many rewarding elements to being a follower of Jesus, there seems to be an awful lot of struggle in life too. While we hold on to God’s great promises, we realize He never promised us lives without tribulation, pain or loss.
Along with leaving home and beginning college comes greater freedom and independence you may not have experienced until now. Pretty much all of your day-to-day decisions will be your own. Sounds great, right? But it might be harder than you think to wake up for early morning classes and remember homework and project deadlines. Furthermore, your parents and family (probably!) won’t be around reminding you to make good choices like eating healthy, doing laundry, tidying up, and urging you to go to church on Sunday morning.
Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? Each year on January 1st, millions of people wake up with aspirations and goals that they believe will help improve themselves in the coming year. The most common New Year’s resolutions include quitting drinking and smoking, budgeting money more wisely, eating healthily and number one...losing weight. Most of the things we resolve to do on New Year’s involve physical things.
The Word Became Flesh
Our waiting is over! Today we celebrate the of the birth of our savior. Just as the prophets foretold, Jesus was born to a virgin in Bethlehem through the lineage of David. A bright star led kings and shepherds there to bestow him with gifts and adoration.
Christmas is a time of joy in which we celebrate the gift of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! What an awesome time! But for many, Christmas is not a time of joy. Many people experience the emptiness of loss, stress, pain and disappointment this time of year.
Isaiah’s prophecies of the birth of the Messiah had been written about and studied for almost 700 years before the angel came to Mary, informing her that she would give birth to the son of God. Can you even imagine what must have gone through her head at that moment, or how Joseph must have felt when Mary told him? Yet God knew of his perfect plan and how all the pieces would fall into place. It is amazing to read the Old Testament prophecies and realize how accurate they turned out to be.
Unlike the bright lights and cheer of Christmas, the season of advent is typically marked by waiting and anticipation in the darkness. Traditionally in the third week of Advent, we emphasize our joy in the waiting; the joy in knowing that we worship a sovereign, good God who is returning to fulfill his promises to us.
According to students, staff, alumni and community members, the number one thing that makes Oak Hills great is the people. However, I believe there is much more to it than the people alone. I have had the privilege of working at Oak Hills for almost two years and can honestly say that people’s lives change when they are at Oak Hills. I have gained more patience, grace, listening skills, and just overall peace in my life and in my walk with Jesus Christ! Change can sometimes be difficult and other times it can be very comforting. I feel that the changes Oak Hills has brought to my life are comforting ones.
These are the darkest days of the year. Not only in the regard that we have less daylight just before winter solstice, but the darkness of the world tends to creep in this time of year. For millions of people Christmas is not “the most wonderful time of the year.”