Advent Devotions Archives » Page 7 of 13 | Devotions | Goshen College

December 8, 2011

Alicia_Hofer

By Alicia Hofer, a sophomore elementary education major from Dolton, S.D.
SCRIPTURE: 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances.
We know this is not our first nature. How many times do we have a rough day, not wanting to rejoice, failing to pray because we don’t find the time or the desire?
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December 7, 2011

Saralyn_Murray

By Saralyn Murray, a junior American sign language major from Orrville, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 126 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
When reflecting on the theme “awesome deeds we do not expect,” I am reminded of an incident from my summer. I was driving from my home in Ohio to the peaceful woods of Camp Friedenswald in Michigan. About an hour from my destination, my car started acting up. I discovered after pulling into a fast food drive through, I could only drive in reverse.
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December 6, 2011

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By Rebecca Hernandez, director of the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
I look back on that perfect day in early fall, sunny and cool, flowers fading but still glorious, and I was in “the groove.” You know those days, where things come together and you know you are exactly where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’ve been made for. Things are good, I’m in sync in with people around me and the check offs on the “to do” list are flying as we build a vision together. It was the simplicity of that day that I so appreciated. I looked up as I walked across campus and thought “thank you God for this moment.” Because this moment was perfect and I know from experience that it would only last a moment. I realized this magnificent day was God’s gift to me and my acknowledgment of this day was my gift to God. We were in tune and it was good.
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December 5, 2011

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By Ben Sutter, a junior communication and history double major
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Hold Fast

DEVOTIONAL:
The first semester of my junior year has been a rough semester for me. I’ve felt the strain of long work hours and overwhelming amounts of homework. Life itself can be overwhelming. I’ve struggled to find time to just be present. My spiritual life ha waned. I’ve felt empty and been broken. Many times this semester, God has seemed distant.
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December 2, 2011

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By Steve Nolt, professor of history
SCRIPTURE: Mark 1: 1-8 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Today’s text offers us “the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ.” As we read on, if we’re honest, it’s something of an odd beginning. Or at least an unexpected beginning. True, the story begins with reference to the prophet Isaiah, and faithful readers of the Hebrew Scriptures might well recognize the call to “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
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December 1, 2011

Emma_Brooks

By Emma Brooks, a junior art major from Littleton, Colo.
SCRIPTURE: Peter 2 3:8-15a (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
We all have expectations of what the ‘day of the Lord’ might be like. I remember as a child wondering what it would be like, though I was strongly influenced by the “Left Behind” movie. I remember having irrational rapture scares when my dad forgot to pick me up or when I would return to an empty house.

The return of Jesus is not something that I think about often. It seems so far away and not in touch with the reality of today.
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November 30, 2011

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By Paul Keim, professor of Bible and religion
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 40:1-11 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
A command resounds throughout the divine assembly, addressing the attendant beings gathered before Yahweh. The heavens have been burdened with the sufferings of a people. The sheer gravity of their loss, the trauma of their fate, the numbness that has settled upon a once thriving community, now dislocated and disheartened – hangs like a shroud upon heaven and earth. Comfort them!
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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

Karina_Rohrer-Meck

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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