Advent Devotions Archives » Page 9 of 13 | Devotions | Goshen College

December 20, 2010

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By Bethany Swope, church relations coordinator
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Praise the Lord from the heavens

DEVOTIONAL:

It’s finally here! Christmas is this week!

Or, perhaps: It’s already here? Christmas is this week?

Amid the bustle and busyness, the 20s of December have arrived. As I think about the year coming to a close, I wonder how it can seem like whole weeks have evaporated from my packed schedule of work, church and other responsibilities. (more…)

December 17, 2010

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By Ross Peterson-Veach, associate academic dean and director of curriculum and faculty development for the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 1:18-25 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Like a lot of angels in the Bible, after calling Joseph by name, the angel in today’s passage starts with “don’t be afraid.” Once years ago when my kids and I were reading their Children’s Bible before bed, one of them asked “why would I be afraid of an angel – aren’t they supposed to be nice?” He had me there … and I was uncharacteristically at a loss for words. We talked about the big voices they have, the situations in which they appear and the idea that if you were not expecting it, it might be pretty scary to see even a sliver of God’s power up close and unfiltered – especially if God was not too happy with you. Then one of them asked, “So Jesus and the angels tell us that God doesn’t want us to be afraid – is that all?” I told them, “Well, that’s not all, but ‘be not afraid’ is a good place to start.” (more…)

December 16, 2010

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By Ashley Walker, a senior music education major from Kirklin, Ind.
SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:1-7 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Have you ever felt called to do something? As a college senior, I have spent four years thinking that I couldn’t wait to be a music teacher. But recently I have felt myself called to do something completely different, to go overseas and involve myself in mission work. I must note that this isn’t something that I have ever imagined myself doing until now and I can’t say that I am ready to leave the minute I graduate. (more…)

December 15, 2010

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By Marshal Watson, a sophomore communication major from Goshen
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Every year I get myself pumped up for the winter season. Then it gets here and I immediately remember that I actually do not like the winter because it is just too cold and wet. I then become annoyed and upset, and every breath of wind and every snowflake I scowl at. (more…)

December 14, 2010

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By Jenny Speight, a senior English major from Cleveland, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 7:10-16 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t put God to the test, and yet, in this passage, God invites Ahaz to do just that. He tells Ahaz to ask for a sign, be it in the Heavens or on the Earth, but Ahaz declines. My first thought was, “Wow, what great faith!” But I wonder if maybe Ahaz was simply afraid that God would prove himself. (more…)

December 13, 2010

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By Justin Yoder, a sophomore music major from Perkasie, Pa.
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Name him Emmanuel

DEVOTIONAL:

“Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.”

I love this old hymn by 19th-century abolitionist and Congregationalist minister Jeremiah Rankin. When the Goshen College Men’s Chorus went on tour during spring break of last year, we offered this song as a benedictory blessing to each of the congregations we sang for. I loved to glance out over our audience as we sang the parting hymn each night, seeing this powerful blessing reflected back to us in the shining faces of those in attendance. (more…)

December 10, 2010

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By Jake Shipe, resident director
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Jews in the time of Jesus were waiting for the Messiah, the coming king. The Jewish nation was living in a time of oppression. The Messiah was to be the one to save the world and reconcile the Israelites to God. God sent his son Jesus to reconcile not just the Jews, but all who would choose to believe. However, the coming of Jesus and the proclamation of his ministry did not meet the expectations of the Jewish people. (more…)

December 9, 2010

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By Jessica Gotwals, a sophomore nursing major from Telford, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: James 5:7-10 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Christmas morning at my home in Pennsylvania looked a little bit different than many households. Instead of kids tearing down the stairs, too antsy to wait to open their gifts until a reasonable hour, my family opened presents on Christmas Eve. Regardless though, we three kids would still be up early in the morning, anticipating the events of the day. Before I can remember, my dad started a tradition of hiding half dollars in each of our rooms, giving us the task of finding all the hidden coins before we came downstairs. We always thought it was for our enjoyment, loving every minute of the search. Now that we’ve grown up, we’ve realized that our parents were really just looking to secure themselves an extra hour of sleep. Whatever their original motives, they also taught us something about patience. (more…)

December 8, 2010

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By Kelsey Shue, a senior communication major from Dalton, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 146:5-10 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Gathered around the family dinner table, I remember my parents sitting back in their chairs, and with a content sigh, they began to tell “our story.” When I was still in diapers, my father attended seminary and my mother stayed at home to take care of my two sisters and me. Without a steady income, life wasn’t easy. (more…)

December 7, 2010

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By Adriel Santiago, a senior theater and communication double major from Souderton, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 35:1-10 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Isaiah tells us to be a voice that strengthens the weak hands and the feeble knees, and which says to the fearful, “Be strong, do not fear!” It is the voice also heard in Isaiah 40, crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (more…)

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