from Houghton College
From all of us at Houghton College, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
A Christmas greeting from President Shirley A. Mullen
I have always wanted Christmas to happen in a certain way: peacefully and calmly, with lots of candles, familiar music on the CD player, Advent readings, and, of course, gently falling snow. When all is in order, the Christ Child can come.
Even as I yearn for this in my heart, my head tells me that this is not how Jesus came historically, and it is not at all what Christmas is about.
The Good News of the angel is that in Jesus, God's perfect love has come to cast out our fears. The angel's words, "Fear not," speak as powerfully to us in the 21st century as they did to the shepherds in first century Palestine. Science and technology have expanded our knowledge and extended our lives, but they have not diminished our fears.
The Good News of the angel is that God has come in the very midst of whatever we are confronting in our world today. As John Donne reminded us in his Christmas Day Sermon from St. Paul's Cathedral in 1624, "All occasions invite his mercies, and all times are his seasons." There is no circumstance we can encounter that puts us beyond the pale of the Christmas Good News that God has come to be among us.
May we in the Houghton community come to a deeper knowledge of this Good News in this Christmas Season and throughout the days of 2014.
Shirley Mullen, Class of 1976