Skip to main content

Advent Devotional

"Advent" is the term for the season leading up to Christmas. In light of that, I'm going to repost the email devotionals from Goshen College as one way of looking forward to the coming of Christ. Goshen is not a Baptist school, but they do hold to the Word of God. If there's anything that needs explanation or commentary from a Baptist perspective, I'll add it in italics. But this is some good stuff that we shouldn't miss:


Today's devotion from Goshen College:

NOV. 24 - LET YOUR FACE SHINE!


By Bob Yoder, campus pastor

WELCOME:
I read the title of this year’s Advent devotional theme through lens of “me” being the subject of the plea; it was up to me to majestically convey to you, the online readers, of the loving magnitude of God’s working in my life. I wanted to write a wonderful, personal story that perfectly illuminated the theme. However, I confess that at a time of depleted energy levels, I felt tired at what I thought the theme required of me.

Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotionals for the
2008 Advent season! Our theme this year, taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources, is “Let your face shine!” This year’s Advent urges us to get ready to be both witnesses and energetic participants in fulfilling God’s vision. This is not a passive season -- on the contrary, we are commissioned each week to be transformed into the image of Christ. Throughout the next seven weeks (weekdays from now through Epiphany), 35 students, faculty and staff will reflect on this, as well as daily scriptures and seven weekly sub-themes: Be on the watch; Prepare the Way; Testify to the light; Name him Jesus; A light for revelation; I will turn their mourning into joy; and Let there be light.

Advent 1 calls us to “Be on the watch.” Again, the overall thrust of the theme and week’s sub-theme left me tired. Of course I believe it is important to “be on the watch,” and of course I want to “let my light shine” -- these are calls I already seek to faithfully live out. However, I was tired and I did not necessarily want to ponder “how else can I shine?” or “how else can I be attentive?”

Then I engaged in a novel act of faith…I turned to this week’s Scriptures. There it hit me square on the nose in Psalm 80 -- “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” I am not the subject of this passage…it is God! The request is that God’s face might shine because it brings forth salvation. I felt less tired. Yes, I want to do my part in this season of preparation, but perhaps my role is to posture myself and call out to God, so that God’s face might shine. Somehow the theme no longer feels as tiring.

----------

PRAYER:
God, let your face shine that we may be saved.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…