February 27, 2012

Feb. 27: A multitude of nations


By Becky Horst, associate registrar and convocation coordinator
THIS WEEK’S THEME: A multitude of nations

“Google Earth” software can focus on your house, then zoom out and out, wider and wider, until a satellite view of the whole earth fills your computer screen. Perhaps, like me, you have had “zooming out” experiences that help you to see the “multitude of nations” that are our fellow children of God.

Right here:
At Goshen College where I work, I rub shoulders with students who come from more than 30 countries.

In the surrounding community:
I often hear grocery store conversations in Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Pennsylvania Dutch.

In the United States:
In Indianapolis last summer, my husband’s doctors and nurses came from Lebanon, Poland, India, Uganda, Argentina and China, as well as the United States.

On planet Earth:
At the 2009 Mennonite World Conference in Paraguay, I sat among thousands of Christians gathered from six continents, singing praise to God in Spanish, French, German, English, Portuguese and several indigenous languages.

But why stop at planet Earth?
Perhaps, beyond our galaxy, other “Abrahams” are being called to step out in faith. As British songwriter Sydney Carter says, in his song “Every Star Shall Sing a Carol,”

Who can tell what other cradle high above the Milky Way

still may rock the King of Heaven on another Christmas day?

Who can count how many crosses still to come or long ago

crucify the King of Heaven? Holy is the name I know.

Zoom out our love, God, so that it encompasses all of your dear children in the multitude of nations, near and far.



Comments (13)

  1. I love this! Thank you for a license to practice “perspective” in my life/prayer.

    Maureen February 27, 2012 |
  2. I love the image you have created for us. I cherish the exposure to the international community I received at Goshen College…it changed who I am.

    phyllis February 27, 2012 |
  3. Neat! Made me smile as I thought about the universe, all the knowns, all the unknowns — the contrast between the smallness of where I am and all that is out there — so extensive that it is beyond my thinking and being.

    mjlh February 27, 2012 |
  4. Thanks, Becky, for your interesting reflections!

    Dawn Nelson February 27, 2012 |
  5. I was fascinated by the lines you quoted from “Every Star Shall Sing a Carol.” I found groups on YouTube singing it, and I googled the lyrics. It’s mind-blowing for our limited understanding of how God works throughout the created order. Question: Do you know how I can find a CD with the song on it? I’ve been a subscriber to the Goshen devotions for several years and often have found food for thought and for spirit. Keep up the good work. Please let me hear from you.

    Lawrence Webb February 27, 2012 |
  6. Thank you Becky for reminding us again that “There’s [indeed!] a wideness in God’s mercy,” as the old “Methodist hymn” in the Mennonite hymnal expresses Carter’s “Anglican” Carol you cite in your devotional — all illustrating the flabbergast-evoking, ever-widening, universe-affirming love of God.

    Jim Brenneman, GC President February 27, 2012 |
  7. Thanks for these images, Becky. “Zooming out our love” is such a fresh way of thinking about the world, of praying for my larger world. I’ve certainly never thought of google earth in this way, but now I will! This is a good image for prayer and a lovely reminder of where I fit into this big picture.

    Susan Garboden February 27, 2012 |
  8. A great perspective that was so helpful to hear this morning! Thank you!

    Sue February 27, 2012 |
  9. Thanks, Becky. We need this gobal vision oftener.

    Mrlin Jeschke

    Marlin Jeschke February 27, 2012 |
  10. “But we make His love too narrow, by false limits of our own.” Thank you for reminding us all to open our minds and hearts.

    Dale February 27, 2012 |
  11. I was so intrigued by the idea of worshipers beyond our planet! Thanks, Becky.

    Ron February 27, 2012 |
  12. Thank you for reminding us we are not alone in our walk with GOD

    bob c February 27, 2012 |
  13. What a wonderful devotional! Thank you for your inspirational thoughts!

    Joann Unruh February 28, 2012 |