Olivet The Magazine | The Greatest Gift of All

Insights from University President, Dr. John C. Bowling.

December 26, 2019 Olivet The Magazine

In his insightful article in the winter 2020 issue of Olivet The Magazine, “The First and Best Christmas Gift,” University President, Dr. John C. Bowling reminds us that the joy and wonder of Christmas extend far beyond December 25 each year. 


The following are a few excerpts from Dr. Bowling’s full article in Olivet The Magazine, Winter 2020.

It happened in a moment — a most remarkable, magnificent moment. Joseph; Mary; their engagement; the Angel; Mary’s pregnancy; the decree; a census; the journey to their ancestral home, the city of David; the stable; and all the rest came to fulfillment in one moment of divine love and generosity. Mary’s pain gave way to joy and wonder as she remembered the words of the angel:

You will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His Kingdom will never end.” — Luke 1:31-33

There He was: Jesus, born not in Jerusalem with royal servants attending but in a stable. He arrived almost unnoticed. If it were not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception; yet, how fitting it was that the “Lamb of God” and the One Who would be referred to as “The Good Shepherd” was greeted by shepherds Himself.

The good news of Advent is that God continues to come into this world. In fact, He is always here — Emmanuel, “God with us.” You see, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son as our Savior, promising that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. This first and best Christmas gift not only offers redemption to all who will receive it but also sets a pattern of love expressed through giving — the grace of generosity.

Among the values embedded in an Olivet education are stewardship, generosity and service. Giving is contagious, and Olivet students have caught the fever! May we all be inspired to lean into this same spirit of generosity during these special days. Find comfort and joy in the knowledge that God loves you and that He is for you!

Published 12/26/2019

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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