By Bob Yoder, campus pastor
This week’s theme: “The Holy Way: Walking in the Way of God’s Heart.”
Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotionals for the 2016 Advent season! Our theme this year, taken from Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada worship resources found in Leader Magazine, is “The Holy Way: Walking in the Way of God’s Heart.” Every Monday an author will introduce the week’s sub-theme and the following days writers will reflect on a specific scripture passage. The theme for this week leading up to the first Sunday of Advent is “God’s Peace is at Hand.”
The morning after our national elections I bumped into a friend of mine, Marco, a longtime pastor and church leader in my denomination who is of Hispanic descent. He does not live in Goshen and so I was surprised to see him on campus, but he was present for some meetings. After initial greetings and me expressing my lack of sleep because I stayed up to watch the election results, he shared words that have continued to give me hope and remind me of my call. He said something like, “Jesus is still the head of the church and we are still called to do the things that make for peace.” As we continued to talk, we both agreed that there will be more opportunities in the years ahead for us to do those things that make for peace.
God’s verbal peace was at hand that morning for me in my unexpected encounter with Marco. In the days following the election I kept going back to what he said. Yes, I like to think that I have been about those things that make for peace, but his words helpfully challenged some of my fears and spurred on my imagination to possibly consider other actions. At the same time, however, I have listened to a number of students express some of their own valid fears that cannot be easily dismissed. I cannot honestly promise, “It will all be okay;” some of their life realities are very different than mine.
What does it mean to “walk in the way of God’s heart” in these times, particularly when the desired outcomes of those claiming the Christian faith dramatically differ? Why are there wide chasms among us? Do we not all claim to walk in God’s ways?
I obviously do not have easy answers to these questions. However, I continue to open myself to what this might mean—here and now—for me, my family and my faith community. Marco’s quick words comforted me and renewed my commitment to walk in the way of God’s heart. I expect God will offer me tangible clues along the way about those things that I need to do that makes for God’s peace.
God of Peace, continue to show your heart to me as I seek to walk in your ways, and give me the courage to do those things that make for Your peace.