In HOPE 7.36 

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David Timms  

Merry Christmas

I extend my sincerest thanks to each of you who has graciously received "In HOPE" throughout 2007. It's been a joy to journey with you for another year. May your celebration of the coming of Christ be filled with joy and blessing. The next issue of "In HOPE" will likely be in mid-January. Grace and peace.  -- David T.

Hope Happenings

This past Tuesday evening (December 18), the Fullerton City Council approved the re-development of the southern 7 acres of the Hope campus. This approval sets in motion an exciting chain of events that will dramatically change the future of the University. In the next four months it means the eradication of most of our long-term debt and the re-location of two of our schools (School of Professional Studies and School of Graduate Studies) to new premises south of the current campus. It also promises a future outstanding housing option for our students. We thank the Lord for His leading to this point and look forward to the new year and new opporuntiies.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"We must not measure greatness from the mansion down but from the manger up."  -- Jesse Jackson

Our Manger

Modern nativity scenes violate the significance of that first Christmas.

Mary sits smiling -- no evidence of labor; no strain etched on her face; serene, not exhausted. And Joseph stands humbly by as wise men present gifts to a silent and well-behaved baby. Even the animals could audition for Charlotte's Web -- all attentive to the wondrous moment. The entire scene is sanitized and orderly ... and false.

The original manger scene would shock our sensibilities. Mangers were messy. Barns (or caves) couldn't be kept clean, let alone sterile. Animals do what animals do. And human birth is hardly a ticket to the ballet.

God chose this delivery room for His Son?

What does it say about a God who can't - or won't - organize something more secure, more classy, more splendid? His Son deserved the best. This birth began a quest. Could it not have started in a warm, safe place with family and friends to support and celebrate? Why would we choose such a hazardous entrance into the world?

The manger provides the greatest object lesson before the Cross. It speaks softly but decisively to any of us with ears to hear.

Jesus continues to be born in the manger of our hearts, without reservation. The Savior does not look for the safe, the sanitary, the sheltered, or the secure. He does not avoid the putrid, the decadent, or the distasteful. Our mess -- our "stuff" -- cannot hinder His coming.

Good news! No condition whatsoever can hamper the coming of Christ, if we'll but make the space available to Him. While we may want to dust and scrub, shovel and deodorize, wash and freshen up the manger of our hearts, He needs only the nod to come.

What does that first manger -- rough and raw as it was -- say about God? Everything we need to know. He comes to the hurt and the helpless, the harrowed and the homeless, the disheveled and downtrodden. Nothing can stop Him coming.

This Christmas, may the sweet nativities prompt us to rejoice in the Christ of "our manger" and may He come again to you. O come, O come, Emmanuel!




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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.