“Gratitude and grace” – are words that seem to capture the essence of this time of the year. As we enter into Advent, we enter into a time when we “wait in joyful hope.” Waiting with gratitude in our hearts, helps us to focus on our blessings with the hope of more to come. Nancy Nickel started reflecting on gratitude in her blog and I’d like to continue by asking, “What are you grateful for?”
I am grateful for family and friends, for loving between people, for my daughter and son-in-law as they care for their new daughter, for a son and his fiancé who will marry soon, for health, for a car that started and ran (check engine light went on this week), for the times people treat each other with respect, for hope that grows even in the midst of troubles, for a God who knows and loves us and who continually calls us into deeper relationship.
We at CTU are particularly thankful to God for our many blessings which include inspired, passionate students who are preparing to serve in a variety of ministries around the world, distinguished faculty, generous benefactors, a dedicated staff, and for another new scholarship fund that just became available for students.
Waiting seems to be a place somewhere between now and not quite now, a place where grace has an opportunity to catch us, to show up, to seep in, often in unexplainable, unexpected ways. I don’t know about you, but I love to be surprised by moments of grace, like the little neighbor girl who blew me a kiss in the morning or the homeless person who offered me his apple.
We can choose to be “grace-makers” in this time of waiting. We can ask, “How do I make this time a time of mystery and surprise, a time of dreams and hopes, a time of generosity and kindness, a time of real grace?” As we wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the grace-maker of God, we are invited to follow his example and be a healing presence where it is needed and to be generous of heart.
We look forward to hearing how you discover grace this Advent.
Kathy Van Duser, Director of Recruitment | firstname.lastname@example.org | 773-371-5450