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Christmas Eve in Princeton, N.J, usually fulfills the picture-postcard promise of Christmas. And it was so, on that one particular Christmas Eve long ago. A light snowfall kissed the quaint Princeton houses, and door-to-door carol singers made their way to one particular door. The violinist’s home. “O little town of Bethlehem,” the boys sang, “how still we see thee lie…” In moments the door opened, and the gentle violinist stood in the doorway to greet the carolers. “Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by…” The musician turned away, turned back into the house. Shortly he returned with his violin! The great man, the gentle old musician, accompanied the midnight carolers on his beloved instrument through each verse of the age-old hymn. Then, without a word, the young people turned away silently, and the old man slowly closed the door. And if this true story, if it is made more wonderful, it is not because a seasoned violin was brought out of retirement for one last spontaneous recital, but because the violinist himself has the best reason of all not to celebrate that snowy Christmas scene. The great genius was a Jew, and so revered was he that the very presidency of Israel once could have been his. But here is the rest of the story. Musicians will tell you, every great genius has his idol. This violinist’s idol was Mozart. Once, a friend asked the violinist to comment on modern times. When the musician was a boy, wars were fought with rifles and cannons. Now the entire world might be devastated. What did that mean to the old man? The violinist hesitated, sat back thoughtfully in his chair. “It would mean,” he said at last, “that people would no longer hear Mozart.” For him, this most deeply conveyed the end o…

…lace for an answer. But, fellow graduates, you are here now, and I want to tell you that you do not have to live with the hopeless view that comes from this story. The one thing that Einstein was lacking was a relationship with the God I serve, who is Jesus Christ my Savior. If this genius would have allowed Him to answer his deepest question, he would have experienced a hope that would know no ends. Graduates, classmates, friends, the same hope that Einstein lacked is open for you to have. It is a choice you must make, to receive it or not, but I would be a selfish, inconsiderate person if I didn’t share with you the hope that I have at the last opportunity that I will ever have to speak to each and every one of you.

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Class of 2012, I pray that you will become people with passion – passion for pursuing your dreams, and passion for the One who can give you hope.

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