Today's devotion from Goshen College:
JAN. 1 - GATHERING UP ALL THINGS
By Becky Horst, associate registrar and grants coordinator
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 1:3-14 (NRSV)
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Today's Scripture passage is a single very, very long sentence in the original Greek. It is a glorious tangle of clauses and phrases that defy the attempts of theologians to comb them into neat strands. But there is much truth here -- much to turn our mourning into joy.
At our college Christmas party on Dec. 8, a student from India reflected on the difference between Christmas in her country and Christmas in the United States. Instead of focusing on gifts and feasting, Christians in India view the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as a time of repentance and renewal. Christ's coming to us is a "spiritual blessing" so great that the only appropriate response is to mourn our sins and ask to be reborn into "holy and blameless" lives in the new year.
On this first day of 2009, take some time to reflect on the glorious tangle of your own life. Acknowledge the rich blessings that God has lavished on you. Ponder the good news that the mystery of God’s will is "to gather up all thing"
in Christ, "things in heaven and things on earth." As God’s adopted children, marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit, we have inherited a place in that joyful "gathering" work.
In your workplace? How are you being called and empowered to join in the "gathering?"
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 1:3-14 (NRSV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.
With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
View all of this season's devotions at http://www.goshen.edu/devotions
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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