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 »
By Annika Miller, a junior elementary education major from Broadway, Va. DEVOTIONAL: In a few days, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Isaiah reminds us to loudly praise God in all we do because it’s only through God’s glory that Jesus was sent into the world as our salvation.
By Carina Zehr, a sophomore environmental science and sociology major from Foosland, Ill. DEVOTIONAL: As I read this passage, considering my busy semester, I asked myself, “At what times have I truly praised God lately?” I seem to be more thankful to God than anything. Yet, the times that I have praised have been wonderful … Keep reading »
By Ruth Hochstetler, Good Library day circulation supervisor DEVOTIONAL: I have sisters-in-law who are elementary school teachers. With the start of each new school year, our family is entertained by the unusual or ridiculous names of children in their classrooms. A familiar name gets an update with a unique spelling, or a child is saddled … Keep reading »
By Justin Yoder, a junior music and interdisciplinary double major from Perkasie, Pa. THIS WEEK’S THEME: His glory is above earth and heaven DEVOTIONAL “I wonder if God comes to the edge of heaven each Advent and flings the Star into the December sky, laughing with joy as it lights the darkness of the earth; … Keep reading »