2009 Archives | Devotions | Goshen College

December 25, 2009

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By Tamara Shantz, assistant campus pastor
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:41-52 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Our text for this Christmas Day transports us from the story of Jesus’ birth to one of our only accounts from Jesus’ childhood. As I read over this passage, I wondered what parenting Jesus was like. God bursts into Mary and Joseph’s lives with extraordinary power and mystery. What a strange task – raising the Son of God! (more…)

December 24, 2009

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By Greg Yoder, a senior music major from Perkasie, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: Colossians 3:12-17 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Advent is a season of wonder, stillness, waiting and watching. Growing up with a pastor for a mother, I experienced richly the period of waiting and watching that is the Advent season. Every night we gathered in our living room. My brother and I ran around the house turning off the lights, and then we all gathered in front of the tree. My parents resolved whatever disputes there were about who got to light the Advent candles, then we sang. After we sang a few songs, it was time for my favorite part. (more…)

December 23, 2009

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By Emily Yoder, a sophomore nursing major from Bird in Hand, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 148 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
During Advent, we typically focus closely on the coming of God’s gift, his son Jesus. We praise him for that and show our gratitude in different ways. God has given us more than his Son, but he has blessed us with such a beautiful earth to live on. God burst in and created the heavens and the earth, and we give him our ultimate praise.
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December 22, 2009

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By Jake Shipe, resident director
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26 (NRSV)

DEVOTIONAL:
In today’s Scripture we find Hannah, Samuel’s mother, bringing him a robe as she and her husband Elkanah made their way to the temple to make the annual sacrifice. When we meet Hannah in the story she is visiting her son whom she gave to the Lord for His work because it was God who had given Hannah her son. (more…)

December 21, 2009

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By Duane Stoltzfus, professor of communication
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Arise, shine; for your light has come

DEVOTIONAL:
Shortly after nightfall, as if someone had flipped a switch, the rain suddenly turned to sleet and the roadways to ice. I was driving to my parents’ house in New York state, a bad time to be riding on old tires. To make matters worse, I had to head deeper into the woods for the last few miles, winding alongside a creek.
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December 18, 2009

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By Odelet Nance, director of multicultural affairs
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:39-45 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
I hear music of Christmas everywhere. In the stores, in businesses and on the radio, the sounds of Christmas ring loud and clear. Music can be transformative and transcend barriers.
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December 17, 2009

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By Andrea Kraybill, a junior art major from Elkhart, Ind.
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 10:5-10 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Words have different interpretations depending on who is saying them and who is listening. Some go out of fashion, yet remain remnants of the past in our ears: twain, verily or prithee. As I read Hebrews, I am struck by the images that sacrifice conjures. I talk about making sacrifices of time or money, but here I see a more visceral image of sacrifice.
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December 16, 2009

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By Maria Byler, a senior social work major from Goshen, Ind.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 80:1-7 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Have you ever been waiting for something so long and so hard that you just ache? Maybe you are hungry, and anticipating a wonderful meal later. Maybe you know you will see a loved one soon.
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December 15, 2009

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By Jennifer Speight, a junior English major from Cleveland, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Micah 5:2-5a (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Have you ever felt completely alone? Abandoned, even? Small and insignificant? I have. This summer, while participating in the college’s Ministry Inquiry Program, I went through a period of abandonment that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I felt as if God had turned his back on me. I struggled with sin, and then, gave up. I was abandoned. Or so I thought.
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December 14, 2009

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By Deb Brubaker, professor of music
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Save

DEVOTIONAL:
I remember the Advent wreath of my early years, centered on the kitchen table. It was made with fresh pine branches, encircling five candles on a red metal plate purchased on a summer trip to Minnesota. Each night our family of four would light the number of candles corresponding to the current week of Advent, and sing “O Come, O Come Immanuel.” My voice joined my mother’s and sister’s sopranos, while my dad did his best to trace the outline of the melody in his off-key baritone.
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