Frequently asked questions

We enjoy receiving feedback and questions from our readers. Some are new to Christianity and some have years of faith under their belt. Wherever you are in your faith journey, we enjoy hearing from you and answering your questions.

I am relatively new to Christianity and am wondering what exactly does one do with devotions?

Most people use them as a way to open their mind and heart to what God might have to say to them through a message from the Bible. Taking a few moments to meditate can help us focus our prayer for the day. We intend for the devotions to be a moment of pause and peace for our readers, offering the thoughts of individual believers to accompany anyone’s devotional time during these special Christian seasons. The short reflections could be used as a centering tool at the start of a day or a way to wind down in the evening. Either way, the writings and Scripture passages can help Christians concentrate specifically on the meaning and mystery of the Advent and Lent season.

Who are the Mennonites?

This Christian community is rooted in peacemaking, simple living and service to others throughout the world. We believe that Jesus calls his followers to love their enemies, regardless of national or ideological borders. Mennonites believe they are called to work for peace, justice and reconciliation on every stage — from worldwide to interpersonal relationships. Learn more.

Who sponsors/publishes the devotions?

Goshen College sponsors the devotions and this Web site. Our campus minister and members of the Communications and Marketing office organize and support this project as a way to reach out and embrace the diversity of our campus, our surrounding community and our subscribers worldwide.

How are the topics, scriptures and authors chosen for these devotions?

Topics and scriptures were taken from the Christian lectionary and worship planning resources prepared by members of Mennonite Church USA. These same scripture texts are being used by many Christian groups around the world during this time. The authors of the devotionals are Goshen College students, faculty and staff who respond to the invitation to write.

How did Advent come into being?

Advent is a way to help the church focus on the meaning of Christ’s coming. We look at the words of prophets and Psalms and Gospels and Epistles that remind us of why Christ came. Advent became part of the official church year around the fourth century, when the Festival of Christmas was established.

What is Lent?

Lent is the season between Ash Wednesday and Easter. With Easter celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, Lent is a period of 40 days (not counting the Sundays) of preparation, fasting and sorrowful reflection for Holy Week, which recalls the events preceding and during the crucifixion. The 40 days are symbolic of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted. Many Christians today see observation of Lent as a choice rather than an obligation, sometimes giving something up and other times taking on a new discipline.