February 17, 2010

Feb. 17: Holding On and Letting Go


By Bob Yoder, campus pastor


Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotional series for the 2010 Lent season! “Holding On and Letting Go” is this year’s theme taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources. A time for reflection and soul searching, the season of Lent calls us to follow Jesus, watch what he does, listen to what he says and identify with Jesus in his mission. The closer we come to Jesus, the more we become aware of the ways our lives and actions may not reflect the life and vision of Jesus.

Throughout the next five weeks on weekdays, 35 students, faculty and staff will reflect on this as well as daily Scriptures and the seven weekly sub-themes: In the shelter of the Most High; Stand firm in the Lord; My souls thirsts for you; Be reconciled to God; I will make … rivers in the desert; He humbled himself; and Alive in Christ.

Holding on and letting go. Seems simple, right? Of course I can hold onto what I want and let go of those areas that clutter my life. Possibly. The challenge, however, is to discern what God might want us to hold on to and let go of, versus my own selfish desires or painful realities that hinder those ideals. Recently I’ve become aware of certain “life things” that I thought I long let go of … but apparently the grip is still there. Holding on and letting go … not as simple as I would like. As a Christian pastor, of course I hold on desperately to Jesus, but then that assumed reality is challenged when I discover I have not talked to Jesus in quite awhile. Holding on and letting go … not as good as I thought I was at this.

What clings to you? What tries to flee from you? What do you long to clasp tight? What do you try to shake off, but somehow sticks to you like that annoying loose piece of tape?


God, help us to realize that which grips us, of what we must loosen our grip and to know the difference between the two.



Comments (18)

  1. his is a great start to our lenten devotions
    thank you for rolling my address over to this years schedule.
    in jesus name
    mitchell jones

    MITCHELL JONES February 17, 2010 |
  2. Good reminder; I think of Paul’s goal,”forgetting the past” and wonder if he was completely successful with that. I keep working at “letting go”.

    Richard Yoder February 17, 2010 |
  3. Lovely start to the Lenten season. I will be teamed with a fellow church member to do worship leading the entire Lent worship series, and Easter. Your encouraging, ane enlightening devotions will help me center, learn, and be refreshed.

    Jep Hostetler February 17, 2010 |
  4. It is easier said than done!! I am working to strengthen the bond between the Synod and it’s Churches and even though I am being patient and positive in my work, I run into people who don’t want to see things change. There are pastors who fall into that catagory.


    Richard Humphries February 17, 2010 |
  5. I facilitate a weekly meeting with our teaching pastors and creative team to work on 5-6 weeks worth of sunday services….I use these devotionals almost every week during advent and lent to focus us on Christ before we begin to plan and brainstorm. thank you for giving us the opportunity to plan with purpose.
    Gloria Love

    Gloria Love February 17, 2010 |
  6. Holding on and letting go is a wonderful, paradoxical theme for Lent in our times. I like the sticky tape analogy. Thanks for gettting us started and confronted.

    Kathy February 17, 2010 |
  7. The subject is extremely timely for me. I have just found out that I must start ‘letting go’ of my mother and I am struggling mightily with that. The comfort from the devotions does help.

    Phyllis February 17, 2010 |
  8. The older I become the more anxious I am. Anxiety sticks to me like “that annoying loose piece of tape.” I want to cling more tightly to living in the moment holding closely the grace of Christ and the empowerment of the Spirit.

    Ed February 17, 2010 |
  9. As I prepare to reflect for the next 40 days, I hope to discern what God wants vs. what I want. It is difficult to let go when I’m constantly bombarded with messages that tell me I’m less. My doubts keep me from focusing on what is really important, how to use the talents and gifts God has given me to live his word for others.

    Cynthia Torres-Nusse February 17, 2010 |
  10. I am always amazed at how God finds a way to speak to me, even when I am intent on not listening. Your words struck a deep chord in my heart, for I have been struggling a lot lately with what I can do in my ministry and what belongs to God to take care of. As a result I have made a conscious decision to let go of doing all the time and be more attentive to God’s presence and God’s voice in my life. Thank you for this reminder and its encouragement.

    anne marshall February 17, 2010 |
  11. As I meditiated on this scripture, I notices that I started to think of wha t”others” should let go of! Hello! I guess “controlling oithers lives” is one thing I need to let go of! Hold onto, “allowing God to control my life”. Peace, Beth

    Beth February 18, 2010 |
  12. Just what I needed to hear today….thank you

    Nancy February 18, 2010 |
  13. Beautilful thought. Thank you so much.
    I realise more and more that I must spend more and more time with Jesus, my Transcedent Lord. Guess I need to get used to being with Him forever.
    Bless you all.
    18 Feb. 2010

    Mervyn Carapiet February 18, 2010 |
  14. Thank you for that devotional from Psalm 91. I needed that reminder that God is surrounding me. You described what I view as a Christian Sandwich….GOD surrounds us with Himself. Yesterday was a hard day in ministry, so this has reminded me how very SAFE I am. Thank you.

    Bonnie February 18, 2010 |
  15. Thanks for the daily devotionals by students & staff. It’s a challenge to study the scriptures chosen. It is good to hear what some of the thinking is at GC.

    Mary K. Mishler February 18, 2010 |
  16. great thought.. but where’s the Word? lets not rely on our own wisdom here! a devotion leaves the reader still starving if there is no scripture…

    travis February 21, 2010 |
  17. Travis, good to hear from you. Scripture will be included every day with the devotions, except for Mondays when it will focus on a weekly theme. This is essentially because there are typically 4 weekly lectionary Scriptures, which is what we are following.


    Devotions admin February 21, 2010 |