December 2020 CACE Newsletter
December 2020 CACE Newsletter

Dear CACE Friends:
In this Advent/Christmas season, we contemplate the past year, celebrate the good and deep gift of God’s son Jesus, and examine afresh our yearning for Christ’s return. After a year like 2020, my words of encouragement this month do not contain suggestions for teaching and learning better let alone how to forge through a pandemic. Instead, may I remind you that we have a God who loves us, who entered our world, and who invites us into a life with Him. 

In rereading the familiar nativity stories, I am reminded to just say “yes” to God’s promptings, declarations, or even bold calls. In the early gospel chapters, there are many who said “yes” and thus experienced God’s magnificence:
  • Mary accepting the honor and burden of being the mother of Christ;
  • Joseph accepting the scrutiny of his family by committing himself to Mary;
  • Shepherds following the angels’ call to leave their sheep and find the Messiah in a manger;
  • Wise men seeing signs in the heavens that lead them afar to see the star-worthy King; and
  • Others glimpsing God’s love—Anna, Simeon, and Elizabeth through her baby.
It was Mary, perhaps, whose “yes” held the biggest risk. Author Madeleine L’Engle affirms this young mother in her poem “After Annunciation”:
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.

The old man Simeon prophesies what this child would mean to the world: 
This child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. 
But he will be the greatest joy to many others. (Luke 2:34 NLT)

My deep hope is that you will experience anew the great joy of Jesus. May you allow His love to bloom bright and wild in your home, community, and work. And may we enter 2021 with a heart bent toward saying “yes” to God’s call.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Erik Ellefsen
Senior Fellow

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