March 8, 2010

March 8: Be reconciled to God

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By Luke Gascho, director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Be reconciled to God

DEVOTIONAL:
Carl, an elderly man, had been attending our church for a year. His life had been a journey of brokenness and hardship. Within the gathered community of believers, he found people who cared about him as a person. As his heart softened, he chose to join the church. I remember vividly his exuberance as he responded to the confessional questions in the baptismal service. Instead of the staid responses of “I do” and “I will” that typically follow the questions, Carl made statements like “Absolutely!” and “I’d have it no other way!” Carl had experienced reconciliation and he glowed with joy.

Like Carl, we live in a world that is out of tune with God’s ultimate intentions. The desire is for right relationships – with God, with other people and with all creation. In spite of this desire, we experience much disjointedness and injustice. We encounter many broken relationships in our lives, yet we have come to accept those patterns as normal. We live in fragmented society – a world out of joint – and that norm must be challenged.

The devotionals this week explore biblical texts that challenge the norm. The stepping out actions of reconciliation are:

  • leaving an era of wandering and coming into in the land of promise
  • escaping insecurities and coming into the hiding place of God
  • choosing to be an ambassador with the message of reconciliation
  • taking the long walk home to God our loving parent

The passages show the importance of letting go that which we have held onto dearly. Even when we know things are out of tune, we can assume that clinging is safer than change. A letting go – and a reaching to the God who makes things right – is needed. It is through these acts of faith that we are reconciled and made a new creation.

May our spirits rise with joyfulness, as we lift up shouts of gratitude to Christ, our reconciler.

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Comments (8)

  1. Inspiring and uplifting. I’m encouraged to accept new steps, walking with Christ.

    LeRoy Kennel March 8, 2010 |
  2. This can serve as a broader meditation for the entire Lenten season, Luke. Thank you for revealing the joy in Lent, guiding our eyes toward the Shalom and Resurrection for which our spirits long.

    Brian Paff March 8, 2010 |
  3. Most interesting and helpful. Thank you Luke.

    John M. Lederach March 8, 2010 |
  4. I get excited about the idea of letting go more in life. There is such a sense of freedom in Christ that comes along with this.

    Amy Swartz March 8, 2010 |
  5. As I spend time with my mother, who has no short-term memory, I am challenged to be patient. Your thoughts today, especially about reaching for God on the long way home, are perfect. Since she cannot consciously reach for God, I’ll do it for her. Thank you for giving me a purpose in this most challenging role!

    Maureen Nalezny March 8, 2010 |
  6. This is perfect for me today. Thank you. What are the passages for today? The devotional references “today’s scripture” but I don’t seen what that is.

    Kara March 8, 2010 |
  7. Food for thought! Your parents would be so proud of you today. So am I.

    Mary K. Mishler March 8, 2010 |
  8. Kara, every Monday, the devotions center around a theme for the week. Devotions on Tuesday-Friday have an accompanying Scripture that comes from the Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday. Hopefully that clarifies, but if you have other questions, let us know.

    Thanks!

    Devotions admin March 8, 2010 |