Refinement is not comfortable for the metal, nor is it easy for the metal worker, but it is necessary. In the end, the hero and the metal undergo a similar process. They are each refined through hard work, commitment and patience.
With so much turmoil in our world, sometimes we may question – God where are you or why is this happening? Hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires and many other natural disasters, in addition to wars and acts of violence, can at times cause us to run weary and feel overwhelmed in our walk with God.
As we come away from the Thanksgiving holiday and transition into the Advent season, this verse in today’s Scripture reminds us to thank God for what joy we are feeling and relish the love that is in our lives.
The psalm for today tells us to wait. Now I don’t know if it’s because I am young and graduating soon from college, or simply human, but I am ready for the next things in my life to happen. I am ready to have an answer to the ever-recurring question, “What are you doing next year?” I am ready to know where I will live or what I will do or who I will meet in my ever-looming future.
In the dead of winter, Violet Cemetery, near Goshen College, is one of the more beautiful places to go for a walk. All is quiet, so quiet, you can hear the icicles creak, glassy pins dropping to the snow-white comforter below. The billowy quilt spreads out across the ground, around every trunk, flung carelessly over gray tombstones as if to warm every grave. Only one color imposes itself against the backdrop of this study in contrasts. Small fir trees dot green across the white quilted ground like so many comforter knots, reminders that Mother root is still very much alive, gently tossing and turning beneath her frozen covers.
In its life-giving power and in its sometimes frightening clean sweep, the image of a flood fits well with this season, which at the same time calls us to repentance and invites us into new life. If we’re honest, we have to admit that we sometimes hang on to things that don’t matter or last, things that may even get in the way of what God wants to do in us, in our communities and in our world — things we may need to let go. Yet God’s work is not about wiping things out simply to wipe them out. Even painful and difficult clearing away is for the sake of something bigger and truer, and it is always grounded in God’s overwhelming mercy, in God’s care and concern for all that God has made.
As churches prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth, Goshen College offers an online spiritual resource to help believers make time and space in their hearts and minds to welcome Advent, even in the midst of busy schedules and hectic lives. Beginning Nov. 26 (the Monday prior to the first Sunday in Advent) and culminating … Keep reading »
By Goshen College President Jim Brenneman DEVOTIONAL: Christmas day! Presents unwrapped, Christmas dinner eaten. Grandpa snores silently on the easy-boy. Grandma fusses over the newest grandbaby. Aunts put puzzles together, while uncles watch reruns on TV. Nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, cousins all, go bowling in the basement on the Wii. Awesome are the … Keep reading »
By Ross Peterson-Veatch, director of curriculum, teaching and faculty development DEVOTIONAL: This advent season, my regular activities of work and life have had a little more of a frenetic feeling underneath them than usual. As my kids get older, I find our family having to craft tight plans for all our days to get everyone … Keep reading »
By Mara Weaver, a junior history major from Bloomington, Ill. DEVOTIONAL: As I sat down to reflect on today’s Scripture passage, I found myself steeped in the stress of the ending semester, a time when no one seems to be able find time to get all of his or her work done, let alone stop … Keep reading »