Yesterday, some of us – especially in North Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe – celebrated Christmas, as January 7 in the Gregorian calendar corresponds to December 25 in the older Julian calendar used in some Orthodox traditions.
Two days ago, others of us from Western Christian traditions celebrated Epiphany, which commemorates the wise men’s visit to the Christ child – and, thus, the revelation of the incarnate God to Gentiles.
ScholarLeaders President Christopher Hays shares the following devotional and prayer request:
Christ Proclaimed from All Nations to All Nations
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” – Matthew 2:1-2
I love that, when Matthew’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus’ birth, it highlights wise men from the East. As the moment arrives to tell the so-called King Herod of the birth of Israel’s true King, people from outside of Israel bear the message. Jesus came to be light to all nations, and that reality is foreshadowed by scholars from the nations announcing the Messiah’s arrival.
Today, the Gospel goes forth from everywhere and to everywhere. We at ScholarLeaders International are privileged to equip and enable scholars from around the world for the global Church.
This Christmas, some of those scholars doing doctoral studies are far from their homelands, training to become some of the most influential Christian minds in their nations. Other leaders we support stand at the helm of the most important theological schools on their continents and are guiding their institutions through times of unprecedented change. Our hearts go out especially to our partners in Ukraine, who continue to train pastors and feed their hungry neighbors by the thousands, even as their infrastructure is bombarded and winter sets in.
We have been honored to invest in these theological leaders. Celebrate with us the 55 Christian scholars from 30 nations whose doctorates we are supporting, the 11 school executives whom we are helping to develop strategic plans for sustainability, the 72 lectures on Islam and Muslim-Christian relations recorded this year, and the 300,000 lives touched through the relief ministries of our theological partners in Ukraine!
Celebrate, because wise men and women from east and west, north and south, continue to honor Jesus of Nazareth, God eternal become incarnate through a poor virgin, born to rule all humankind.
Celebrate, because you and I get to participate in announcing His reign and advancing His Kingdom.
It’s both wonderful and sobering that God has chosen to work through people like you and me to proclaim the Good News. Thank you for the role you have played in making this ministry possible!
Pray with us for the hundreds of global theological leaders in the ScholarLeaders Fellowship, scholars who are leading their nations to pay homage to the child born King of the Jews.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Epiphany!
Christopher, for the ScholarLeaders Team