I have always sent a note to my congregations in past years at this special time. I was moved this morning to write to our board, who labor so well for the cause of Christ. While some might think it best to keep such a letter private, and that even publishing it might create a sense of ingratiating myself to my authorities, I decided that it was better to share it. It was better to share with others what happens when a governing body does its works in prayer and dependence upon the Lord and how that creates an ethos, a culture, of prayer. So I share what I have shared with them and do thank God publicly for a gathering of governors of this seminary who live out their passion for the Gospel in their Biblical approach to oversight.)
Merry Christmas to our Board!
We have so much to be thankful for at RTS:
~Our Seminary is united in confession, spirit and mind, and in vision and mission through God‘s blessing on your oversight;
~Enrollment grows under your policies;
~Gifts to our Seminary supply the needs for God’s work through your faith;
~New opportunities are arising for greater outreach as you all govern through listening and leading in prayer;
~Our Leadership Team has been reorganized and streamlined to unleash giftedness and seek excellence and efficiency in our Seminary under your guidance;
~Our Administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni are studying the Bible, praying, worshiping, sharing the Gospel and multiplying ministry through your prayer, financial and ministry support;
~The name of Jesus is coming to starving souls who will be lost unless they hear and believe because this is your board priority.
So we thank you. Mae and I say Merry Christmas with prayer and praise to the Christ of Christmas to the members of the Board of Trustees of Reformed Theological Seminary who are not only my God-ordained authority for earthly ministry, but my friends, and my fellow servants in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I could have NEVER imagined that I would be given the incredible privilege to seek, by His grace, to carry out your policies and to serve such a Godward, Christ-focused, “Band of Brothers” as you. But “His ways are not our ways…” And so, in my devotions, today, on this week approaching the Fourth Sunday in Advent, I reflect on His goodness expressed in the gift of strong “Governors:” unbending in your confession and entrepreneurial in your outreach, pastoral in your dealings, Great Commission focused in your planning, and warm-hearted men of God—elders in the Church of Jesus—who form the single greatest ministry I have ever served in my life.
May you enjoy rest with your families, peace in your souls, joy, good food and making merry in this season of life, knowing that each of you are named by name before the King of Kings by this preacher in his prayers today, and all of you as the Board of Trustees of our beloved RTS have the admiration and gratitude of our family for all you do—but even more for who you are.
Merry Christmas to you and your families from Mike and Mae and John Michael and our family.
There is a prayer of the late, great Russian Christian and “freedom fighter,” Alecksandr Solzhenitsyn, that I read this morning that reminded me of our duty to give our all and then leave the results and the future with The Lord. It reminded me of our labors together at RTS. May the prayer of total surrender to God’s service, yet also to the truth of His sovereignty, be ours this holy season:
“I look back in wonderment at the journey beyond hope—to this place, from which I was able to send mankind a reflection of Your rays. And however long the time that I must yet reflect them You will give it me. And whatever I fail to accomplish You surely have allotted unto others” (“A Prayer,” in The Solzhenitsyn Reader, ISI Publications, 625).
I know that I speak for all of our administration, faculty, staff, and students when I say, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and God bless you.”
The Milton Family