2014 Archives | Devotions | Goshen College

April 20, 2014

By Gwen Gustafson-Zook, minister of worship
SCRIPTURE: John 20:1-18 (NRSV)

“Life is like Easter: a hard and hopeful time.” – Obed Dashan, Jos, Nigeria

The notification beeped on my computer and I was pleased to see that my friend and former seminary classmate from Nigeria was checking in. He currently serves as the General Secretary for the Church of Christ in Nigeria/Nations headquartered in Jos, Nigeria. When I casually asked him how he was doing, he responded, “Life is like Easter: a hard and hopeful time.” He went on to report that in churches throughout Nigeria violence against Christians and those accused of promoting “westernized education” is rampant. Bomb blasts, the abduction of 200 school girls, the killing of people of faith – all of this in the past week – Holy Week. Obed is convinced that if those committing the atrocities would encounter the risen Christ, they, like Paul on the road to Damascus, would turn from their violent ways and become agents of positive change. As followers of the way of Jesus they would “influence the world with the gospel of peace.” So he prays for his enemies and consistently encourages Christians throughout Nigeria and beyond to live as people of peace in the face of horrific violence. “What gives you hope?” I asked. And he reminded me of names of his three children, all of whom were born around the time we studied together: Fwangmun: The Spirit Sustains, Nanshelmun: God walks with us and Pankyes: In God we find peace.

Sometimes amidst the eggs and the lilies and the baby chicks we turn away from the pain and violence that is the context for the resurrection. This year, I will make a commitment to not turn away. I will still sing the Easter songs with gusto. I will still relish the time with family and the faith community, even more so realizing how often I take them for granted. But I will also stand with my brothers and sisters around the world as they cling to the power of Love made known in the resurrection of Jesus Christ – and boldly and hope-fully proclaim: the violence and the hatred will not win! Christ has risen! Hallelujah!

Thank you for journeying with us through reflections and stories during this season of Lent. We will be back online with Advent reflections beginning in late November 2014. Until then, live in hope. The power of Love WILL prevail.

SCRIPTURE: John 20:1-18 (NRSV)

The Resurrection of Jesus

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
April 19, 2014

By Richard Aguirre, co-director of the Peru Study-Service Term and director of communications and marketing (on leave for 2013-2014)
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV)

Today’s powerful scripture epitomizes our Lenten Devotion theme of “Encountering God: What Have We Witnessed?” and the Easter Sunday sub-theme of “Go and Tell.” In just 208 words, and without embellishment, the Gospel writer conveys the essence of Christianity – that Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose again and that his life-sustaining gift is available to all who control their fears and believe.

The men in Matthew 28: 1-10 guarding the tomb in Jerusalem did not believe; when the angel of the Lord appeared and there was a great earthquake, the guards “shook and became like dead men.” Living in Peru for the past nine months (and growing up in California), I’ve felt many earthquakes and know they can paralyze people with fear.

The women who were visiting the tomb were frightened by the quake and angel, but the two Marys were courageous believers, so they also felt “great joy” when told that Jesus had risen from the dead. They were rushing to tell the disciples about the resurrection when they saw Jesus. They immediately “took hold of his feet and worshipped him.” Because of their unshakable faith, the women believed and went to “go and tell” what they had witnessed – a physical encounter with God.

Today’s scripture resonates with me because of the many Marys – or Marias – I have met and seen since my spouse, Judy Weaver, and I arrived in Peru to help Goshen College students learn and serve. Like the Marys who knew Jesus, many of Peru’s Marias are the “least of these” – afraid, oppressed and abused, but they also are faithful, brave and often joyful. I have seen many women working long hours as maids, selling goods in chaotic markets or dangerous streets, raising children alone and carrying huge bundles that would stagger strong men. Yet they persevere, serve, and crowd churches to offer prayers of thanksgiving.

Since arriving in Peru, Judy and I have witnessed the good – great hospitality, tasty cuisine, an immense coastal city (Lima), soaring mountains, lush jungles and ancient civilizations. We have witnessed the bad – horrible traffic, pollution, poverty, sickness, neglect, injustice, crime and corruption. Still, what I will remember most about Peru are compassionate people – Jorge, Eduardo, Nestor, Miriam, Townsend, Maria, Benjamin, Livia, Gregoria, Eloy, John, Cindy, Elizabeth, Raquel, Patricia, Henry, Romulo and Gustavo – who are advancing God’s hope, healing and social justice among the poorest of the poor. Their work is rooted in unshakable faith – the Easter spirit of overcoming fear and serving others with joy and love. And that is the gift of the risen Lord. Alleluia!

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV)

The Resurrection of Jesus

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’
April 18, 2014

By Grace Boehm, a junior history major from Merriam, Kan.
SCRIPTURE: Colossians 3:1-4 (NRSV)

On this day of Good Friday, I invite you to reflect on Christ’s humanity, on the “earthly things” as well as the “things above.” In order to understand our purpose and value as human beings, and to understand Jesus’ work in the world, we must remember that Jesus was also human (as the church has affirmed throughout its history), and that he died a very real, human death. I picture Jesus’ disciples aghast with grief after his crucifixion, not knowing that Jesus would rise again, but only understanding the realness of his death. By setting our sights only on things above, we miss out on the human experience that we should cherish on Earth. During Easter, we often focus, and rightly so, on Christ’s resurrection. But Good Friday was a day of grief, sadness, and hopelessness for those who surrounded Jesus in his life.

The context of Colossians 3 fixates on separating the human existence on Earth from above with strong implications of God’s wrath. But 3:12-14 provides a loving counter: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” The relationships and experiences we have on Earth are a reminder of this very human love and forgiveness. So I challenge us all, as Christian believers, to focus not on the separation of body and spirit, Earth and Heaven, but instead to see those as inseparable, unique parts of the human existence.

SCRIPTURE: Colossians 3:1-4 (NRSV)

The New Life in Christ

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
April 17, 2014

By Hillary Harder, a senior music and Spanish double major from Wichita, Kan.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV)

The heading above this passage in my Bible reads “A song of victory.” Indeed, when I read this passage at least two songs come to mind whose words are based on the text of this psalm. These are words of joy, triumph and praise – they are practically crying out to be sung aloud! It is unclear what “punishment” the psalmist has just been through: perhaps a period of darkness in his or her life, a time of struggle or depression, a close encounter with death. Maybe instead of the gate of righteousness, the psalmist had found him or herself facing other gates, and just narrowly missed entering and having the door close behind. Maybe, like the stone rejected by the builders, the writer has experienced feeling worthless and cast-off. Or perhaps the psalmist had simply wandered far from God’s presence. Whatever the case, the saving power of God’s steadfast love is enough to make the psalmist want to tell the world about this victory!

Our theme for this week is “Go and tell.” In this psalm, we are reminded that an essential part of encountering God is sharing that encounter with everyone who will listen. This passage is a song, and the psalmist is inviting us to sing along. Not only does he or she proclaim the everlasting love of the Lord, the psalmist also exhorts Israel to do the same. After experiencing near defeat, the psalmist is ecstatic that he or she is going to live – and will fully embrace that life by “recounting the deeds of the Lord” that have led to it. This and every day are gifts to us from our God of love, and how do we respond? Rejoice! Sing! Go and tell about it!

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV)

A Song of Victory

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever!

Let Israel say,
‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.’
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

April 16, 2014

By Rose Shetler, director of annual giving and operations manager
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 31:1-6 (NRSV)

Does life sometimes feel like a wilderness, devoid of joy and comfort? What are the things that hold you in captivity? And where is God when life hurts?

In today’s passage, the prophet Jeremiah is speaking to the people of Judah who were taken captive by the Babylonians. He brings the weary exiles the words of the Lord. The words offer assurance that they are the people of God who has not forsaken them, but who is with them and loves them with an everlasting love. The words are ripe with expectant promise that the captives will be restored to their homeland and will once again enjoy the work of their hands and the fruit of their labors. And yes, the words leap with songs of joyful celebration and noisy merrymaking! For the day will come when those in captivity will hear the call to go up to Zion, to the Lord their God, and live in peace and freedom.

Not only have the captives survived the sword and been promised restoration, but the grace in the Babylonian wilderness is this: it is the assurance, comfort, promise and joy that God loves them and is with them, even here, even now, even in this captivity.

I’ve known the wilderness times. I’ve been captive to fear and discouragement, hopelessness and doubt. My natural desire is to get through, get out, get away as quickly as possible from the wilderness in which I’m held captive. But sometimes in my haste, I miss the grace of the wilderness times. I forget that God loves me with an everlasting love, that God is with me there – especially there. As sure as the promise that God will restore me is the assurance that God loves me even when life hurts. Perhaps it is this realization that is a greater grace than the speed at which I move on to freedom.

Indeed today, this is the grace to be found in your wilderness too. May it be so.

SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 31:1-6 (NRSV)

The Joyful Return of the Exiles

At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take your tambourines,
and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
and shall enjoy the fruit.
For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.’
April 15, 2014

By Bill Born, VP of student life and dean of students
SCRIPTURE: Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)

God shows no partiality, no favoritism. What a powerful statement.

These nine verses in Acts proclaim God’s “good news,” God’s “salvation” to all. In just a few verses Peter proclaims Jesus as Lord of all, as God’s anointed who died on a cross and was raised from the dead. It wasn’t enough for select witnesses to personally see the resurrected Jesus, but God commanded them to testify and preach to all, as the prophets many years earlier testified of this Lord.

God’s grace across history had come full circle, an ever-widening circle, from Jews and Gentiles alike. What does that mean for us today?

As was the case then, God’s grace is not only for us to claim as our own. It’s for us to proclaim to others.

How am I doing on that front, on the front of proclaiming God’s grace to others? Am I selective in terms of whom I proclaim to? Do I consider my understanding of God’s grace unique, better informed? Do I proclaim it with certain expectations, with select “strings attached?”

I can imagine it was difficult for those select witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection to openly share God’s love without some sense of privilege, recipients of a special dispensation. And yet, we read ahead of this passage of the angels coming to Cornelius, a centurion in the Italian regiment, a righteous and God-fearing man who God acknowledges for his prayers and gifts to the poor. And following, we read of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the Gentiles just as it was poured out on Peter and his fellow Apostles. God’s grace is God’s to dispense, and it is for all.

Many years ago I was introduced to the phrase “circles of influence.” It was in the context of institutional marketing as a part of my work here at Goshen College. Allow me to offer a bit more depth to the phrase. As a follower of Jesus and recipient of God’s grace, I need to be aware of, and intentional in broadening my circles of influence, circles beyond my comfort zone. Circles extending up, down, to the left and to the right. And may it be in those circles that God chooses to use me to proclaim and extend God’s grace, freely.

SCRIPTURE: Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)

Gentiles Hear the Good News
Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how 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. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not 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. He 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. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’


April 14, 2014

By David Zehr, a sophomore history and interdisciplinary major from Elkhart, Ind.
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Go and tell


I rewrote this devotion twice because I just couldn’t seem to get to the heart of what I thought about it. I have a lot of issues with the ethic, which I see around me concerning how to “tell” people what we think. Opinions are rampant, avenues for message dissemination are plentiful, and the emphasis on the value of face-to-face conversation seems to be as invisible as sunshine has been this past winter. Why meet over a meal when signing a letter takes so much less time?

When I look deeper at this theme of “Go and tell,” it becomes apparent to me that it is more than simply a call to speak. It is an invitation to community and relationship. Around me I hear the cacophonous chorus of the entire world all talking at once and no one stopping to listen. This Lenten theme is not meant for us to add to the senseless drivel. Rather, to “Go and tell” is a call to intentionally orient our lives around that which truly matters.

One way to do this is to analyze how we act. I’ve appreciated the faith community I’ve grown up in for “stepping to their own beat,” instead of just taking cues from the outside world. As many around us seem to be more concerned with what they themselves are saying than what those around them are saying, I’m left with this observation: When we learn to listen to those we care for, we tell far more to them than if we are simply speaking. Perhaps faithfully stepping to our own collective beat in this day and age will require less focus on what we are saying or not saying, and more focus on whether we are listening or not listening.

April 11, 2014

By Ammon Allen-Doucot, a sophomore Bible and Religion major from Hartford, Conn.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 27:11-54 (NRSV)

Generally speaking, Matthew 27 is a particularly upsetting part of the Bible. Granted, we all know the story, we all know that Jesus does come
back, but 27 is just intensely painful, which made me wonder how I could connect such a painful story to the overarching theme of “blessed.”

What I have come to realize is that this passage, more than anything else, is about the power of integrity and peace. When Jesus gives up his spirit, the rocks crack, the sky darkens and the dead are raised. This is a tremendous exposition of power.

Yet, we see Jesus walk willingly to it, he does not resist when he is before Pilate, when the crowds call for his blood, when the soldiers mock him and when the criminals mock him. This treatment is in extreme contrast with Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem just days ago. The fact is, Jesus had just as much power riding in on a donkey and being welcomed as he did on the walk to Golgotha.

The significance of this passage is that it highlights that Jesus’ concern was not for himself and not effected by what happened around him, it was for the duty he had to God and therefore to humanity. We are blessed by Matthew 27, in that our God knows suffering, knows pain and knows compassion. The deity we aspire to follow does not turn to violence, instead we are called to walk a path where we can be mocked and harassed and hurt, and to do so bravely.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 27:11-54 (NRSV)

Pilate Questions Jesus

Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said, ‘You say so.’ But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?’ But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Barabbas or Jesus?

Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’ Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’

Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified

So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’

Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.” ’ The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

April 10, 2014

By Adela Hufford, business process analyst
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)

Parenting has taught me just as much about my relationship with God as it has about my relationship with my son, Garrett. I feel sadness and pain when I see him struggle with making wise choices and ultimately choosing something other than what I wanted for him. I am struck with the notion, “Is this how God feels about me when I make unwise choices?” But I also feel an incredible surge of euphoria when Garrett offers me genuine thankfulness or praise about something I have done. And again I think, “Does God’s heart swell when I offer up a thankful heart?”

The Psalmist provides prayer in the form of thanksgiving and praise, recognizing God’s mercy and restoration in our lives by jubilantly sharing “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!” both at the beginning and the end of the Psalm. My desire to create a similar attitude of thankfulness in Garrett calls on me to identify with him the many blessings we’ve been given and to demonstrate a thankful heart. We often pray at bedtime: “God, thank you for our house. Thank you for a bed to sleep in. Thank you for plenty of food to eat and clothes to wear. Amen.”

I am challenged though, to help Garrett, and ultimately help myself, acknowledge that our prayers of thanksgiving and praise can and should seep in to our everyday lives and not be limited by our routines, but become routine. Despite our circumstances, there is much to be thankful for and God deserves that pause whenever we are presented with a blessing.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)

A Song of Victory

TO give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever!

Let Israel say,
‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.


April 9, 2014

By Dechen Tuladhar, a sophomore molecular biology/biochemistry major from Kathmandu, Nepal
SCRIPTURE: Phil. 2:5-11 (NRSV)

If you had all the money, all the power and all the fame in the world, how would you live your life? Would you be driving a Lamborghini or a Ferrari? Would you own the latest Louis Vuitton bag? Would you change your closet every time there’s a new fashion trend?

In today’s society, the “I” appears to be more important than “them.” If social systems value “I” more than “them,” how can we, as individuals, value “them” more than “I?” It may seem like a challenging task, but it IS possible with God’s help.

When Jesus came to this earth, he could have had all the riches, luxury and fame, but he didn’t. He could have lived in a palace and ruled as a king, but he didn’t. He could have hired all the servants to clean his house, make his food and do his hair, but he didn’t. Instead, Jesus chose to be born in a dirty, stinky stable, Jesus chose to be raised in a poor carpenter’s home, Jesus chose to be the servant and to serve others. Even though he was ridiculed, rejected, despised and humiliated by his own people, Jesus persisted for our sake, to save us. Jesus willingly humbled himself, and he even went so low that he offered himself to die for our sins. Jesus didn’t die just any death. He died the most horrible, degrading and agonizing death, the crucifixion. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus, the all-powerful and all-knowing God, is also the all-humble God? Even though Jesus has all the reasons to be proud, he was humble.

So often, we get carried away with the “I” phrases: “I am…I want…I need… ME, MYSELF and I,” and we forget about “them.” All the “I” builds is pride, and pride doesn’t lead us anywhere but sin. Humility, on the other hand, will be rewarded, blessed and exalted by God. Humility means forgiving, loving and caring for others, not just yourself. Humility also means letting God take charge of your life, and whatever we can’t do, He will. In order to be honored you must first humble yourself, in order to be loved you must first give love, in order to be forgiven you must first forgive, and in order to be blessed you must first bless.

So, today, will you make it your goal to be served or to be a servant?

SCRIPTURE: Phil. 2:5-11 (NRSV)

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Page 1 of 41234