2011 Archives » Page 3 of 3 | Devotions | Goshen College

November 29, 2011

Leanna_Teodosio

By Leanna Teodosio, a sophomore sociology and Bible and religion double major from Lima, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 85: 1-2, 8-13 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
When I think of the Advent Season I can’t help but think of the tradition in our home surrounding the Advent calendar that hangs on display at this time of year. As we count down in gleeful expectation of Christmas day, my three brothers and I also look forward to the thrill of moving the little mouse from one day to the next. I am only partially ashamed to say that now as adults, this thrill still exists and we revel in who got to move that silly little mouse. The daily excitement and expectation in this funny illustration of our childlike joy adequately describes what the heart of advent is all about.
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November 28, 2011

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By Luke Gascho, executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Salvation is at hand

DEVOTIONAL:
The lovely apple trees that I planted more than a decade ago in my back yard are now bare. There was a good crop this year, but no fruit remains on the spurs or branches. There is not even a single leaf remaining on the trees. Can there be any hope when the trees appear so barren?

I know that the trees are planted in good soil, because I dug the holes myself. The shape of each tree is pleasing, because I have pruned the trees. The trees are healthy, because I have added fertilizer and practiced careful pest management. Yet when I look at the trees now, I see barrenness.
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November 25, 2011

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By Karina Rohrer-Meck, a junior nursing major from Archbold, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:31-46 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
What an inspiring verse to study with going into the first Sunday of Advent, the season of hope. Sometimes when I think about the day Jesus returns, fear overcomes all other feelings. At first, these verses can have the same impact, instilling the idea that some will see eternal punishment. However, I encourage you to look at these verses with only hope and a challenge.
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November 24, 2011

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By Becky Horst, associate registrar
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 95:1-7a (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Each morning, my husband Ken and I face each other with outstretched arms and greet the new day with thankfulness. We began this little ritual after walking through the valley of the shadow of death last summer. In that walk we learned that gratitude is the bedrock of faith.

For those readers who are unfamiliar with Ken’s story: Last spring he was a strong and healthy high school physics teacher who climbed stairs two at a time and played racquetball twice a week. But he began to experience increasingly irregular heartbeats. He was hospitalized four times in the month of May while doctors struggled to find a diagnosis.
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November 23, 2011

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By Joshua Delp, a senior English and Bible and religion double major from Sellersville, Pa.

SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

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DEVOTIONAL:
The theme for this week of advent is “Restore us.” But whom do we really need to restore? Ezekiel 34 speaks from the tradition of those held captive in a foreign land. The Hebrew people had been forcibly brought to Babylon following the destruction of their holy city and temple at the hands of their captors.

The verses leading up to it condemn Israel’s leaders for failing to act appropriately as shepherds of their people. They did not care for the weak and they allowed the flock to be scattered. In light of the failings of Israel’s leaders, God makes a commitment to fill the vacant role of guidance and protection, as shepherd to the flock.

Many people today are disenchanted with their leaders. One does not need to be a misanthrope or believe in an approaching apocalypse to appreciate that there is a crisis of corruption, inequality, and environmental degradation in our world.
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November 22, 2011

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By Chris Wood, associate professor of nursing
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 1:15-23 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
For me this is one of the most powerful and challenging passages in the entire New Testament. Although it is familiar, beyond being a concise synthesis of Paul’s teachings, it is also a summary of what Christian belief could be.

As a Catholic Christian who has been in religious life for over forty years, and who has most recently taught at a Mennonite college and studied at a Mennonite seminary, I cannot help but wonder how our church might be today if all parties involved in the Reformation had been able to fully embrace these verses. What if they had fully recognized God’s all-encompassing power and strength as the ultimate source of guidance for daily living? How might a different sort of embodiment of this belief united Christians rather than divided them?
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November 21, 2011

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By Bob Yoder, campus pastor

DEVOTIONAL:
WELCOME:

Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotionals for the 2011 Advent season! Our theme this year, taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources, is “Awesome Deeds We Do Not Expect.” Every Monday a writer will introduce the sub-theme, whereas the following weekdays writers will reflect on a specific Scripture passage.

Advent 2011 bursts upon us with the impassioned cry of the prophet Isaiah: “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence!” (Isa. 64:1). The prophet goes on to remember “awesome deeds that we did not expect” from the past and longs for God to show up again in such mighty ways.

Isaiah’s words reveal the heart of Advent: an in-between, paradoxical season, bordered on the one hand by memories of how God has appeared in the past and on the other hand by anticipation of God’s presence still in front of us. “Come, Lord Jesus” is a prayer that points both backward and forward: backward to the baby in the manger but also forward to the Lord of all entering our world. Yet God’s presence can’t be contained by our expectations.
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November 14, 2011

As churches prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth, Goshen College offers an online spiritual resource to help believers make time and space in their hearts and minds to welcome Advent, even in the midst of busy schedules and hectic lives.

Beginning Nov. 21 (the Monday prior to the first Sunday in Advent) and culminating on Christmas Day, Goshen College students, faculty and staff will provide weekday reflections based on lectionary Scripture passages. Many writers will reflect on the Advent theme: “Awesome Deeds We Do Not Expect,” taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources.

The devotions will reflect honestly on the Scriptures and offer words of assurances of faith. The spiritual offerings will include poetry, personal stories, reflections and prayers, all intended to more closely examine the call to change and follow Christ.

Since 2001, Goshen College annually celebrates special seasons of the church calendar, particularly Advent and Lent, with online devotions.

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