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Marvelous Deeds

By November 30, 2016 No Comments
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Last week while I was visiting my sister and her family in Seattle, we attended a Thanksgiving service at University Presbyterian Church.  In a short meditation, UPC staff member Marisa Gulbranson Gronholz reflected on 1 Chronicles 16 as a text that provides an important model for thankfulness: gratitude, she argued, is a function of remembrance and revelation.

Remembrance because we need to accurately represent what has come before. It’s easy to misremember—either back to some unadulterated “good old days” or, equally pernicious, some grim “bad old days.” Instead, remembrance is about acknowledging the wavering circumstances of our lives, but in the context of a God who wavers never.

Revelation because once we remember rightly our job is to “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all the people” (1 Chron 16:24). It is not enough to privately acknowledge God’s good work—we are called to share that knowledge as deeply and as widely as we can.

Already this week, I’ve been reminded again by my colleagues here at The Twelve of the rich history of Perspectives and of The Twelve. Like Scott, I’ve thought back to joyful editorial board meetings (yes, some board meetings can be joyful!) and now long-treasured friendships. I’ve reflected on the great gift of the different viewpoints to which I’ve been exposed by writers on The Twelve who I don’t know personallyAnd I’ve been appreciative all over again for the ways the writing and intellectually wrestling here on so many different subjects have challenged and sharpened my own thinking and have encouraged a profounder Reformed engagement with culture.  I feel humbled to be able to share my own thoughts in this space.

I’m grateful too for all the folks (read: yourself, reader!)  who take time to read and respond to our work. That’s an incredible gift, too.  We’d love it if you might also be able to support us by clicking on the little button below. We’re really lean, but websites do cost dollars. We know it takes all of us to remember and reveal. Thanks for helping us do that, in any way you can.

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Jennifer L. Holberg

I’ve taught English at Calvin College since 1998–where I get to read books and talk about them for a living. What could be better? Along with my wonderful colleague, Jane Zwart, I am the co-director of the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing, which is the home of the Festival of Faith and Writing as well as a number of other exciting endeavors. Given my interest in teaching, I’m the founding co-editor of the Duke University Press journal Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture (and yes, I realize that that is a very long subtitle). I also do various administrative things across campus. As an Army brat, I’ve never lived anywhere as long as I’ve now lived in Grand Rapids. I count myself rich in friends and family. I enjoy kayaking and hiking. I collect cookbooks (and also like to cook), listen to all kinds of music, and watch all manner of movies and tv shows. I love George Eliot, Jane Austen, Marilynne Robinson, Dante, E.M. Delafield, Tennyson, Hopkins, and Charlotte Bronte (among others). And I have a bumper sticker on my car that says: “I’d rather be reading Flannery O’Connor.” Which is true.

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