March 9, 2011

March 9: Becoming human


By Bob Yoder, campus pastor

Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotional series for the 2011 Lenten season! “Becoming Human: Called and Shaped by Jesus” is this year’s theme taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources. Lent is the season of the church year in which we focus particular attention on foundational questions of our existence. This Lenten season we ask: What does it mean for us to be created and recreated images of God? How may we become authentically human?

Surrounded by a host of pressures that squeeze and contort us into less-than-human, even inhuman, shapes and disfigurements, Lent invites us to let go of those pressures and distractions and to pay special attention to the Christian practices of prayer, solitude, Bible study, simplicity and service.

Yet we also remember that we cannot reshape ourselves. These practices simply open up space in our lives for God to work. It is our Creator who will recreate us; it is Jesus whose own life, death and resurrection calls us and transforms us into a new way of being human. We become human, indeed we are reborn, as the Spirit breathes life into us, a life that bursts forth from deep within like a stream of living water.

The passages of Lent 1 this week grapple with the theme of “I acknowledged my sin.” There are certain sins of mine that I can easily look into the mirror, see, name, ask forgiveness and move on in life. But then there are those, well, there are those that I find it difficult to admit to. There are those sins that “other people” are more guilty of than me because I refuse to look into the mirror. I wish not to acknowledge them; it hurts too much. It cuts too deeply to the core of my being in which I recognize my brokenness, my pain, my flaws. Those are the areas I struggle to name, and so I find myself focusing on the surface sins that can easily be resolved and make me feel like I’m purging myself of the yuck.

O God, I am a mortal being. I know so well those sinful realities that are rooted in my core. Grant me your grace, courage and mercy to name them to you, and I pray for their uprooting.



Comments (8)

  1. What a perfect way to begin this season of repentance. I’m especially grateful for the strong emphasis on God’s saving grace–God is the one to transform and recreate us. Makes self-help books look a little lame, don’t you think?

    Marcia Aldridge March 9, 2011 |
  2. God be merciful to me a sinner….you know my frailties.

    vera kauffman March 9, 2011 |
  3. Bob did this well. It’s a moving statment that’s moving me. I want to read each one.

    LeRoy Kennel March 9, 2011 |
  4. WOW, that gets right to the point. Very thought provoking. Lots of work to be done on my part. Thank you.

    sally March 10, 2011 |
  5. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on me.

    melana March 10, 2011 |
  6. A person cannot begin to understand their humanity or identify with the humanity of others until we realize we are all depraved and the only thing separating us from “them” is choosing Christ and allowing His grace to redeem us. It’s nothing we do. By God’s grace, falling in love with him more and more keeps me wanting to choose Him each day.

    Brenda Yoder March 10, 2011 |
  7. Thanks Bob, I was blessed and challenged.

    In the devotion is said:
    “The passages of Lent 1 this week……..”

    Is there a scripture passage to go with this devotional?

    Janice March 10, 2011 |
  8. The Scripture passages for Thursday is Psalm 32 and for Friday is Matthew 4:1-11. The first day of each week will be focused on the theme for the week and won’t have a specific Scripture connected with it. The rest of the days each week will have Scriptures connected to the devotions. Please let us know if you have further questions.

    Devotions editor March 10, 2011 |