“Everyone had high hopes for Benjamin after he finished third in his class at a predominantly black high school and scored the highest SAT ranking of any student in twenty years from a Detroit public school.” He went to Yale with the dream of becoming a physician.
But after his first semester, he was failing chemistry. He prayed and “intended to study for the exam all night, but sleep overcome him. All seemed lost—until he had a dream: he was alone in an auditorium when a nebulous figure began writing chemistry problems on the blackboard. ‘I recognized the first problem as one of the ones I had dreamed about. And the next, and the next, and the next—and I aced the exam and got a good mark in chemistry. And I promised the Lord he would never have to do that for me again.’ . . .
“By the age of thirty-three, [Ben] became the youngest director of pediatric neurosurgery in the country, performing pioneering operations at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A 2014 poll ranked Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr. as among the ten most admired people in America,” and he even made a run for President, all because a dream helped him pass a chemistry course fifty years earlier.
“What do you think? Was this a coincidence? A tall tale exaggerated to promote a political career? Or a miraculous intervention by God? (Lee Strobel, The Case for Miracles, Zondervan 2018, 15-16).
Today, we begin a new message series for Advent and Christmas that we’re calling, Expect Miracles. All through the Christmas story, the people who expect miracles and are on the look out for God experience miracles and experience the joy of the incarnation. The people who are not looking for God’s activity miss out on it. In this series we’ll encourage you to expect all kinds of miracles from God, both this Christmas season and beyond.
One of those miracles is you. You impact the world in a miraculous way, perhaps in ways that you do not even recognize. But look around with the eyes of faith. You are making a difference. On the Second Sunday of Advent, we’ll be celebrating one of those miracles that comes about through your generosity. We have been writing and speaking to you about the spirituality of stewardship for three years and now is the time for our first-ever Stewardship Sunday on December 8.
We will hand out Stewardship Commitment Cards the week before so that you can pray about what more you can do to honor God with your financial blessings. As your Pastor, I thank you for your faith commitment and your financial investment in the mission and vision of our parish.
—Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
Father Roger Gustafson