Letting go of the perfect Christmas tree—About two days after we decorated our Christmas tree, a section of lights in the middle quit working. Not the top section or bottom section, but right, smack in the middle of the tree. At first I consoled myself that it really wasn’t all that noticeable (not quite true). Then I thought I might actually have time to fix it—in between grading final exams and calculating semester grades along with wrapping up a publication for my Development job. Now I have decided to leave the broken lights even though our family will be hosting my parents and brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. I’m telling myself that by doing this I am learning an important lesson about life such as “letting go of expectations” or something like that. Not quite sure I have fully embraced this lesson…


Christmas Dinner Stony Brook Style—Last Sunday the Stony Brook boarding community enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner. This is a yearly tradition and one I have grown to love in our short time here. The dining hall is transformed by lights and decorations and the food is truly wonderful—appetizers of shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, and mozzarella sticks abound, along with roast turkey and beef tenderloin, and desserts too numerous and decadent to name. The atmosphere is festive and for a few short hours the students and faculty can forget about looming final exams.


School Shooting in Connecticut—In sharp contrast to the images above, the news of the school shooting in Connecticut, killing children and school personnel, shocks and horrifies us as we try to comprehend such evil and violence. Our hearts break and we weep for the families who lost loved ones. I am not the first one to ask “Why God?” Just like the prophets and the Psalmists I, too, ask “how long, O, Lord? How long do we have to wait for you to make all things right? When will senseless violence end?

I cling to the significance of the Incarnation. How else can I have hope and know that someday all shall be well? How we need Emmanuel to wipe our tears and to heal the broken-hearted! Come, Lord Jesus.

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