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