Gifts of Christmas

Gifts of Christmas

Jay Smith, Guest Contributor

December 2016 Inscribed

Two thousand years ago, three Persian Magi came from the East, bearing gifts for the Christ child. Jesus, in return, gave hope, mercy, forgiveness, and love to the world. In 2017, Yellowstone Theological Institute will be bringing a gift to the Rocky Mountain Northwest: a cutting edge theological education, the likes of which no one has seen before. For the past two years, Dr. Bill Fowler, Dr. Scott Hamilton, Ms. Tracie Jernigan, Mr. Brett Desper, and I have been giving students in Boise, Bellingham, and Bozeman a taste of what is to come. The time has arrived to give birth to the “daring adventure” we have planned from the beginning. Starting in June 2017, new faculty members will be arriving in Bozeman.

The first new faculty members are Rachel Toombs and Lance Green. Dr. David Wilmington and Dr. Scott Hamilton will follow these wonderful scholars in July. In September, Dr. Betsy Quammen and Mr. Brett Desper will follow. Our Chapel Dean and Professor of Worship Studies will be named in a later edition of Inscribed, but I can promise that you will be pleased. These people will be the nucleus of our faculty at the Institute, as well as the heart of a new church movement in the Rocky Mountains. This is the gift that has been gestating since 2011.

As the church embodies Jesus and embraces the mission He has for us, a new world is created in our midst. It is the movement of God’s love, the Christ Community, where everyone benefits. When the magi gave their gifts to the infant Jesus, they knew something special was going to happen, even when they just gazed down upon the child. They believed. I don’t think they could have imagined just how much power and poetry was in the baby, but they believed that He was the one.

As our nation and world continue to fall prey to anger, deceit, violence, and evil, a fresh and powerful embodiment of the Spirit of Christ is needed to face such a challenge. This core group of men and women at YTI are prepared to equip and send leaders for just such a task. They are prepared to equip other men and women to think creatively and critically in the theological task. They are ready to equip those daring adventurers to go forth into a brave new world—not just to share the love of Christ, but also to be the love of Christ for the world. They are our gift to you.

In focusing on this gift, we have dedicated this issue of Inscribed to featuring the faculty members you see on the front cover. Our regular YTI Spotlight and Reflection pieces will return in the next issue. Until then, please continue to pray for YTI, and consider sending a gift this year to enable our students to participate without fearing a mountain of debt after graduation.

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