Lenten Devotions Archives » Page 11 of 22 | Devotions | Goshen College

March 1, 2012

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By Mia Engle, a first-year American Sign Language major from Decatur, Ind.
SCRIPTURE: Romans 4:13-25 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
I love the rules. I love knowing what I can and cannot do, what will get me into trouble and for what I cannot receive punishment. I revel in order, like going in the “Enter” door at the grocery store and going out the “Exit” side. I like to sign contracts saying I will not break the rules and feeling confident I won’t.
February 29, 2012

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By Paul Keim, professor of Bible and religion
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22:23-31 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That’s the opening cry of the Psalm from which our text is taken. A classic lament, and our text a familiar vow of praise of the sort found not infrequently in lamentation literature. It is the hymn that Jesus begins to recite from the cross, branding that anguished cry onto our collective consciousness. Perhaps he would have continued reciting through the praise portion – had he lived.

Why praise in the midst of scripted complaint, choreographed despair, ritualized hopelessness? For the ancient worshipper a “sacrifice of praise” was part of the lamenter’s strategy to incline the ear of one’s deity, to call attention to one’s case, to evoke sympathy for one’s suffering. To provoke perchance a positive response, in hopes that the deity might (also) be assuaged by the sweet aroma of adoration. (more…)

February 28, 2012

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By Sarah Rody, a senior mathematics major from Sterling, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Abraham truly was the father of many nations. Sarah was a mother of nations as well, although she is not recognized across as many religions. This past summer I witnessed the true diversity of Abraham’s nations.

February 27, 2012

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By Becky Horst, associate registrar and convocation coordinator
THIS WEEK’S THEME: A multitude of nations
DEVOTIONAL:

“Google Earth” software can focus on your house, then zoom out and out, wider and wider, until a satellite view of the whole earth fills your computer screen. Perhaps, like me, you have had “zooming out” experiences that help you to see the “multitude of nations” that are our fellow children of God. (more…)

February 24, 2012

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By Karina Rohrer-Meck, a junior nursing major from Archbold, Ohio

SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:9-15 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

“I will remember my covenant” is this week’s theme. Sometimes in our everyday, busy lives, this is easy to forget. (more…)

February 23, 2012

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By Jeff Hochstetler, manager of the student apartments
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 9:8-17 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
My legs ached from the piston-like movement that they had been repeating the last several hours. Pulling over to a rest stop for a much-needed break, I wondered to my friend Nate, “Did we bite off more than we could chew?” (more…)
February 22, 2012

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By Bob Yoder, campus minister

WELCOME:
Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotionals for the 2012 Lent season! Our theme this year, taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources found in Leader magazine, is “Where Do I Sign?” Every Monday an author will introduce the sub-theme, whereas the following weekdays authors will reflect on a specific Scripture from the lectionary.

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February 3, 2012

Goshen College again offers an online resource to help believers make time and space in their hearts and minds to reflect during the season of Lent. Beginning Feb. 22 (Ash Wednesday) and culminating on April 8 (Easter), Goshen College students, faculty and staff will provide weekday reflections based on lectionary Scripture passages.

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. The popularity of the devotions continues to grow each year and there are now more than 9,000 online subscribers, representing many different denominational backgrounds and countries.

April 24, 2011

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By Tamara Shantz, assistant campus pastor and apartment manager
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Throughout our Lenten devotionals we have been considering what it means to “become human.” As Philip Newell suggests in his book, Christ of the Celts, in Christ, we have a witness to the truth of who God created us to be. Christ shows us not only the face of God but also “the true face of the human soul.”
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April 23, 2011

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By Justin Yoder, junior music major from Perkasie, Pa.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
I’ve often wondered what that first Holy Saturday was like for the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. The Gospels are mostly silent when it comes to this final day in our Lenten journey; the detailed narratives skip from the anguish and despair of Good Friday to the hopeful wonder of the Easter morning discovery. And perhaps this is an understandable omission. Would we not also, in our remembrance of this Holy Week, and in our own personal journeys of suffering and loss, prefer to move directly from despair and death into hope and rebirth?

We don’t really know what the followers of Jesus did on this day all those centuries ago. Bound by the Sabbath guidelines to refrain from the busywork that might have numbed the pain of Calvary’s horrors, I imagine the disciples were burdened with the dead weight of raw grief, images of death’s cruel reality still seared in their minds. The Scriptures tell us that darkness fell over the whole land on the afternoon of Good Friday, as Jesus hung dying on the cross. I think that for the first disciples, that next day must have felt like a time of great darkness, as well – the darkness of fear, of crushed hopes, of broken dreams.

In the late 1980s, the poet Brian Wren wrote the hymn text “Joyful is the Dark” in an attempt to celebrate the usually neglected positive implications of darkness in the biblical tradition. The poem’s fourth verse describes the great darkness at the end of Passion Week, but it ends with a striking phrase: “Never was that midnight touched by dread and gloom; darkness was the cradle of the dawning.” I love the idea that the darkness we so often associate with our pain, our fear, our own metaphorical deaths – this “hopeless” darkness cradles in its pitch-black arms the new life that is about to be born in us. The sorrow and anguish of that first Holy Saturday were not some cruel interlude between death and rebirth; God was preparing in this darkness the miracle of the morning.

In today’s Scripture passage, the Apostle Peter testifies to this miraculous resurrection as he speaks to a crowd at Caesarea. We hear again in his words the promise of a new life that is for all people – even those previously thought to be lost in darkness. This Holy Saturday, may we hold onto the confident hope of Peter’s words, trusting, as we await the dawn of Christ’s resurrection, that the darkness cradles our new life, as well.

SCRIPTURE: Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)
34Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
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