Day 9

December 6

December 6

John 1:14, 16-17

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

God’s Loving Grace

by Zhenrong Zhang, Ph.D.

I still remember the first time I saw the baby Jesus in the manger as a Christmas decoration. It was in a beautiful snow-covered neighborhood in a small European village that is far away from my home country. For the first time in my life, I made this distinct connection that Christmas is about Jesus. It is a holiday that people celebrate the birth of Jesus!

John 1:14 says "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen the glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Several years later, I, myself, became one of God’s people, who celebrate the birth of the one and only Son. The Son came to us and shows us God’s loving grace, the freely given gift that we do not deserve.

I have been constantly pondering about God’s grace. Working in a university means that we are surrounded by people who have high standards and are high-achieving. Faculty are trained to have high standards on all aspects of our work (teaching, research, and service). Students are expected to achieve high standards. However, the past year reminded us over and over of God’s loving grace. How do we help our students, with God’s loving grace in our hearts, while still having high standards?

I am very grateful for my two teenage daughters. Through them, I see my students from a new perspective. They are working hard to achieve, and they are disappointed when they do not. They need help to achieve. They also need loving grace to navigate through this challenging time.

John 1:16-17 says “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” I am thankful for God’s loving grace which was given to me and all of us.

Learn More About Our Guest Writer

Zhenrong Zhang, Ph.D.Zhenrong Zhang, Ph.D.

Zhenrong Zhang, Ph.D., is a researcher in energy and environment related catalytic chemical physics, specifically, understanding the mechanisms and dynamics of catalytic reactions on metal oxides by using scanning probe microscopy (SPM) coupled with the Raman spectroscopy.

Dr. Zhang joined the Baylor faculty in January 2010 and was promoted to associate professor in 2016. Prior to coming to Baylor, she held a postdoctoral position in the University of Innsbruck, Austria (2002-2004) with Prof. Erminald Bertel and a joint postdoctoral position in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with Zdenek Dohnalek and the University of Texas at Austin with J. Mike White (2004-2009). During her time at PNNL, she was awarded the M. T. Thomas Award by the Department of Energy’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory. She held a Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck Guest Professorship at the University of Innsbruck, Austria in 2018. She was awarded the Creativity Award by the NSF Chemistry Division in 2021.