A new semester to thrive

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Jan 26, 2009 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments

The book of Ecclesiastes may be the most helpful canonical voice "for such a time as this" in the United States. The humpty-dumpty tensions that we feel may tear us apart can actually, in the gracious mystery of God's presence, put us back together again. Eugene Peterson, in his comments on Ecclesiastes 3 from the Conversations version of the Message, explains:

This vibrant poetic passage looks at what seem to be opposites--birth and death, planting and reaping, crying and laughing--and rather than contrasting them, it incorporates them. It says that these are the realities of life that God puts together in HIS time, not ours. God invades our experience, whether that experience is joyful or sorrowful, and fills it with his presence, infuses it with his grace, and gives it meaning. We prefer the joyful experiences to the  sorrowful ones, but the gospel brings them together and says, essentially, that to God it doesn't make any difference. The time you are in, whether it is birth or death, laughing or weeping, is God's time. He can bring his presence into each and every experience of life. And with his presence, his peace.

I hope you will join me in this prayer for the new semester:  that each student, faculty, and staff will not only live, but thrive, in the constant conscious awareness of the presence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


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