February 22, 2012

Feb. 22: Where do I sign?


By Bob Yoder, campus minister

Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotionals for the 2012 Lent season! Our theme this year, taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources found in Leader magazine, is “Where Do I Sign?” Every Monday an author will introduce the sub-theme, whereas the following weekdays authors will reflect on a specific Scripture from the lectionary.

In the course of daily life, we are routinely asked to sign in, sign on and sign up. We do so without giving it a thought – at the computer, as a wedding guest, at the bank or when attending a funeral. We sign when we agree to pay for goods received or when we volunteer to bake cookies for a fundraiser. We sign forms when we start a new job or become eligible for Social Security.

Lent is the season of the church year when we reflect on our relationship with God and especially the invitation to sign in, sign on and sign up for the journey to new life in Christ. During Lent 2012, we will be inspired by two biblical stories: the story of the children of Israel as they responded to God’s invitation to sign on again and again to the covenant, and the story of Jesus who shows us that even though signing up may lead to suffering, God will never abandon us. Signing on with God leads to a journey of liberation and healing that is worth living and encourages us to invite others to consider: “Where do I sign?

The sub-theme for Lent 1 is “I will remember my covenant.” The “I” in this passage could be God, but it could also be “Bob” or “the church,” or perhaps other entities that have signed on. The church I am a member of recently joined with new members. As a response we, the congregation, read through a statement of what we are committing ourselves to with one another. I recalled the faces of those who helped our family move this past summer. What a stressful time, but the gracious kindness of people helped us.

I also “remembered into the future” wondering what our two young children, Josiah and Mira, will eventually say about the church that is joining with my wife and me in raising them up in the faith. Will they recognize the nature of God’s loving covenant with God’s people as being manifest between our local congregation and them? Will they say that our church guided them into signing onto something that matters in life and faith, or will they see it as just another credit card swipe and not pay much attention to what is on the receipt?

O God, grant us your mercy and loving patience as we remember the real life implications of signing up with a life of faithfulness to you and your ways.



Comments (11)

  1. Thanks for the introductin to this year’s lenten season! I’m so looking ofrward to your daily lessons!!!

    mike February 22, 2012 |
  2. I appreciated your introduction and again was blessed by Goshen College’s lenten lessons. I look forward each day to them. Thank You.

    Clara B February 22, 2012 |
  3. Thank you for the reminder that signing on with God has demanding and rewarding implications heightened during the Lenten season.

    Frances February 22, 2012 |
  4. Thank you! I pray that my eagerness to sign on this morning will be with me, indeed ALL of us, for our forty days. Beautifully written lesson.

    Joanne February 22, 2012 |
  5. I am looking forward to this 40 day journey.

    Tamara February 22, 2012 |
  6. This reflection was a blessing for me & reminded me to be “present” in what I say and do this Lent.

    Josephine February 22, 2012 |
  7. Lenten season already? How wonderful to be reminded by this post. Thank you Bob. I agree with Josephine, this reflection reminds me to take seriously my faith covenent and be “present” in my daily journey. Help me Lord.

    melana February 22, 2012 |
  8. I’m glad to restart, to move ahead, to continue on after March 29 when I will be 82 years of age. Thank God for lent season.

    LeRoy February 22, 2012 |
  9. Thank you for such a beautiful beginning to Lent. This is something I need to recommit to in my life. Sometimes life gets too busy and I forget what is really important.

    May God richly bless you!

    Becky February 22, 2012 |
  10. Enjoyed the devotional and was inspired by it. However, I was distracted by a grammatical error. Lots of people make this mistake: “church helping my wife and I.” No, no, it should be “my wife and me.” Think about it: You wouldn’t say “church helping I,” would you? Sorry to be such a nitpicker about an otherwise wonderful writing!!

    Joann Unruh February 23, 2012 |
    • Thanks for catching that Joann…it has been corrected.

      Devotions Editor February 23, 2012 |