O come, Desire of Nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be Yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
When we sang this verse in church this past Sunday, I heard it with fresh ears. If nothing else can be said about 2016, “sad divisions” seems like an understated description of the current state of our nation and our world.
But as I sit in my office, breathing in the scents of my Christmas wreath-scented Yankee candle, I recognize the signs of hope, peace, joy, and love that emerged this year as well. Here are a few highlights of my 2016:
- I wrote 12 autobiographical pieces for You Are Here Stories, an online writing project that I was invited to participate in as a fellow. My last offering of 2016 will be published on December 20. If you’re interested, you can find them all archived here.
- In February, my cousin Mary made the trip from St. Louis to experience the CCO’s Jubilee conference with me. It was such a joy to share this important piece of my life with her, and I’m happy to report that she’s returning for Jubilee 2017!
- Throughout the year, I continued to write stories of hope and transformation happening in students’ lives on college campuses. It’s humbling and rewarding to continue to participate in this ministry—for over half of my life. Which leads me to the biggest milestone of my year:
- In September, I turned 50! (How is it possible that I have now entered my sixth decade?!)
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” —Isaiah 52:7
May we recognize God’s reign more and more in 2017, and may we all be peacemakers and bringers of good news. Thank you for your love and friendship and support, this and every year.
To give to my ministry: ccojubilee.org/donate or send a check to CCO, 5912 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206