Skip to main content

Advent Devotional #15

Today's devotion from Goshen College:


By Rachel S. Gerber, apartment manager

SCRIPTURE: John 1:6-8, 19-28 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.


In our text today, we hear a loud voice -- John the
Baptist preparing the way for Jesus’ ministry. His sense of
clarity of purpose and mission challenges me. John knew who
he was and responded to others out of it.

Likewise, I wonder, ‘What shall I cry?’ And suddenly, I’m
at a loss for words. It seems like as the Church, in this
world of many voices, we have lost ours. In the past, it
seems that when the Church responded, it tended to do more
harm than good. It’s no wonder the world is cynical and
distrusting of religion. And I bet there might be a good
number of current church-goers that feel the same way.
Because of this, our response to God’s call to “cry out,”
turns silent.

But what if we got again to the heart of Christianity --
Jesus -- and found our voice there? What would it sound
like? What if Christianity is not so much about “getting
yourself saved,” as it is about an invitation to join the
mission of God’s people to meet the world’s needs?

In the season of Advent, we await the coming of God in the
person of the baby Jesus. This is not a season where we
simply wait for an anniversary to come, but rather it’s a
time to reflect on the nature of the One who came first to
us, and who invites us to jump on board with what this One
is doing in our world. So what then, shall we cry out? Let
us discover together how God is calling us anew today, so
that we too might join in the words of John to prepare the
coming way of the Lord!


SCRIPTURE: John 1:6-8, 19-28 (NRSV)
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He
came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might
believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he
came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent
priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are
you?' He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, 'I am
not the Messiah.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you
Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?' He
answered, 'No.' Then they said to him, 'Who are you? Let us
have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about
yourself?' He said, 'I am the voice of one crying out in the
wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord" ',(as the
prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him,
'Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah,
nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptize
with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the
one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the
thong of his sandal.' This took place in Bethany across the
Jordan where John was baptizing.

View all of this season's devotions at

Goshen College
The views and beliefs expressed in the devotional piece prepared by
each individual reflect their own spiritual growth journey and
thoughts, and while created in a campus environment that encourages
thoughtful questions and reflection on biblical Scripture and
contemporary Christian themes, do not necessarily represent the
official institutional positions of Goshen College or Mennonite Church

We welcome students who desire a Christ-centered education shaped
* passionate learning
* global citizenship
* servant leadership and
* compassionate peacemaking.
Do you know someone who would be a good fit at Goshen College?
Find out more at .

To keep this unique community of faith and learning vital and
affordable for students, Goshen College welcomes your financial support.
Visit to learn how you can support
our mission.
Devotions-fulltext mailing list


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…