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Advent Devotional #8

Today's devotion from Goshen College:


By Phil Schmidt, a senior Bible and religion major from Berne, Ind.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.


Surely salvation and deliverance is at hand for those who fear God! Surely God's peace will rest on those who are faithful. Surely these qualities of God -- steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace -- will soon be more apparent in and around us. Surely Christ’s light will soon shine brighter in this darkened world.

I am currently reading Rob Bell's book, Sex God. In the second chapter of this book, Bell reminds us that people are made for connection: connection with ourselves, connection with God and connection with each other. Too often, we look at the things that separate us and keep us disconnected:
race, politics, gender, culture, country… but God created each of us in God’s own image! We are first and foremost created by God for connection, not separation. In realizing this, may we begin to notice the hopeful qualities of God all around us. May we begin to live in Christian communities where steadfast love and faithfulness meet and where righteousness and peace kiss each other.

This fall, I am participating in a youth ministry internship at East Goshen Mennonite Church. This has been a very fruitful experience for me! One highlight has been working with the Youth Group Investor Program. Through this program, youth members and investors (adult church members) are invited to invest in each other’s lives through building relationships with each other. It’s about connecting with each other and living as the body of Christ together.

In this season of Advent, as we continue to look forward to the coming of Christ, may we realize that we were created for connection! I pray that we may let our faces shine by living more connected lives, and through this different way of living, may God’s faithfulness spring up from the ground and God’s righteousness look down from the sky!


SCRIPTURE: Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 (NRSV)
To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.
Lord, you were favourable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.

You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

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 USA.

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