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A Christmas Message

President Favara - ChristmasBy President Lenny Favara

One of my most anticipated events of the holiday season is the annual Office Christmas Goodies Day. This event, which usually occurs just around finals, is a multiple-day event where each office serves up a table of their favorite holiday fair. For three days (and a leftover fourth) employees and students alike enjoy a wonderland of delicious delicacies. It is a highly anticipated event—enjoyed by everyone. Unfortunately, we were unable to host the event this year, though we did host a version of the event earlier in the year. However, it just was not the same as it lacked the “Joie de vivre” of the Christmas setting and those delectable Christmas goodies.

Reflecting on my deep sorrow, I was reminded of the passage in Isaiah 25:6 that reads, “On this mountain, the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of vines”.

In other words, a heavenly Office Goodies Day.

Just as the absence of this year’s office celebration has caused me to look forward to the reinstatement of the event next year, so too, we look forward to the arrival of that time when we are afforded access to this glorious heavenly festival. In the meantime, I am caught between two realities—celebrating what was and looking forward to what is yet to occur.

That is Advent!

A time that we celebrate the fulfilled appearance of our Lord in Bethlehem (that which was) and anticipate the Lord’s return (that which we wait for). Therefore advent is both a celebration of an event that happened many years ago, while at the same time an event we find ourselves also participants; as we await the Lord’s return and a chance to sit at the Lord’s table.

And yet, there is a third reality that must be considered. The reality that though Christ has come, and though we await Christ’s return, Christ is no less with us even now.

In other words, our anticipation of engaging the Lord’s table is not just something reserved for a time yet to come. According to Psalm 36, God’s people eat now from the abundance of God’s house and find their thirst quenched from an ever-flowing fountain. That is a privilege in the here and now.

That is not to say that every morsel we taste will be as pleasurable as our Christmas Office Buffet. Being a parent, I am aware that my children do not view the choice of my cuisine with the same enthusiasm as I do. There are certain elements of the table that they would certainly choose to do without, even though I know that those portions are needed for their health and wellbeing.

It is no different with the Lord.

Don’t we, many times, expect that every scrap the Lord feeds us should be that of blessing and pleasure; that no sour or bitter taste touch our tongue? Perhaps this reality is especially highlighted during this season where COVID has disrupted so much. We may wonder, “Why?”.

However, let us remember that a balanced table includes that which is tart and tangy; sweet and salty; bitter and bland. Life, at least as we know it now; includes a little icky in the menu. Thankfully, the celebration of Advent reminds us that we await the coming of the day when we will have the opportunity to dine in the splendor of God’s presence and feast upon the delicacies set before us.

In the meantime – I will patiently await next year’s Office Christmas Goodies Day – unless of course a few of you would like to bless me with a tasty holiday treat!

I pray that this Advent and Christmas season may be one filled with great joy and infinite hope.

ABOUT CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS

Central Christian College of Kansas is a four-year collegiate institution that strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person through four core characteristics: heart, soul, mind, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central, go to centralchristian.edu/about.

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