Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Links
Close button Close

Lenten Devotions 2022

Easter was always a special time. On Good Friday we attended church, saddened by the reminder of God’s torturous crucifixion and death. Then two days later, on Easter Sunday, we celebrated the most joyous and glorious day of the year.

 

Everything in the church changes on Easter Sunday. The purple that was draped throughout the inside of the church is removed, and there is now a celebratory mood. Everyone seems happier. Easter is the most uplifting Sunday of the year. And there is good reason. This glorious sense of unbridled happiness is rooted in the fact that an unbelievable miracle really has occurred. He has risen from the dead.

 

God is always teaching us. And His death and resurrection is one of His greatest lessons about living life. Things are going to happen in our lives that we wish were different, but He is telling us, “Believe in Me. I am with you; I will make you strong and I will show you the way.”

 

The resurrection is our reminder of hope, renewal, and a new life. John 11:25-26 captures it best when Jesus says to her, "I am the resurrection and the life... And whoever believes in me, will never die.”

 

Others may try to bury truth, honesty, empathy and justice in a grave, but nobody can keep those virtues buried. God has given us the strength to turn the inevitability of death into the invincibility of life.

 

God is the answer! He requires but one thing from us – believe in Him. Easter is the most glorious day of the year. He has risen, Hallelujah!

 

Let us pray: Dear Lord, today we celebrate your resurrection. There is no more powerful message than Your resurrection. Your arising is our awakening! We believe in you, and we turn our lives over to you. Please help us change our ways and help us put an end to injustice; help us bring about peace throughout the world. Help us keep Your word in our hearts. We pray this, trusting and believing in You. Amen.

 

Whatever lifts your spirits, brings you hope and fills you with the miracle of Easter, that is what we wish for you today. Happy Easter.

 

Sandy & Morrie Scherrens


Luke 23:50-56

 

50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council,51 had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

 

Holy Saturday is a day of waiting and if you are like me you don't like to wait, whether its grad school test results, posting of professors' grades, even the light to change when can be a waiting moment. Maybe we are even waiting on what is next this summer or in the coming year.

 

Today in our waiting for Easter Resurrection,  we don't get to jump ahead of the Lenten fast and eat our chocolate just yet. I sometimes wonder, what did the disciples do after that first  Good Friday. Where did they go? Many believe the disciples ended up back in the upper room. It was a confusing time. They had been up there celebrating Passover and suddenly their leader had been arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced to death, marched through town, hung on a tree, died and buried in a borrowed tomb. And Sabbath restrictions limiting their grief expression. 

 

I can only speculate on the many times I've gathered with families after a hospice patient has died, and the phone tree is in full operation as the news spreads. We wait and wonder.

 

Many unanswered questions and the limited knowledge of an unfolding story shared in stunned silence and sobbing tears. Christ has died and while we know the rest of the story as we pause today in our hope, knowing that we also sometimes must wait on resurrection in our lives.Yet, it is because the resurrection happens, our hopes restored and mourning turns to joy.

 

I don't think we can speed many things up so I have to remember and I invite you to pause when the time comes to waiting. Take deep breath, see what is around, rest the anxiety if for a moment. It might just be something greater than we expect.

 

Let us pray, God of waiting, when we are anxious, help us to know the calm presence of your mercy and the joy that comes in the morning. Wrap us in your grace to know it's okay to pause. In Jesus' name. Amen.


 

The Rev. David W. Coffman, ‘97 is Campus Pastor and Director of Church Relations at Newberry College


“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by GOD, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

~Isaiah 53:4-5

 

Here’s a bold declaration for you: sometimes bad can actually be good. Now, you are probably pondering how the last statement can be true. You are asking yourself the question, “how can something bad end up being good”? It seems weird but it’s the truth. It seems odd but it happens more often than we think. And no, I’m not talking about how foods that are considered to be bad normally ending up tasting so good.

The bad being good doctrine is why we celebrate this day known as Good Friday. The bad being good doctrine helps to explain why we have life and have it more abundantly. It was on this day that an innocent man was crucified. It was on this day an innocent man took the rap and paid the price for things that he did not do. Yes, bad can indeed end up being good.

You may still ask the question, “how can this bad be good”? It’s easy. This bad is good because it showed GOD’s unconditional love for us. This bad is good because it shows us who has all the power. This bad is good because it gives us hope. It gives us hope in knowing that at anytime GOD is able to turn any situation around. In fact, it gives us hope in knowing that GOD will turn around any situation. After all, Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for the good of those who love GOD and are all called according to his purpose”. Who wouldn’t want to serve like a GOD like that?

 

Almighty GOD, our hearts are full this day: full of your grace, full of your mercy, and full of your love. Thank you turning our bad into good. Help us to remember that there is nothing too hard for you to do. Please be with us as we proclaim your goodness and celebrate the resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Dr. John Lesaine is Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at Newberry College


am the vine, you are the branches. Those who aide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I choose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands to that you may love one another (John 15:5, 12-17, NRSV).

 

In the summer of 2020, just as people were emerging from months of quarantine and the worst of the pandemic, my daughter and I visited a winery in the mountains of North Carolina.  It was a gorgeous summer day; a light breeze, a bright sun, the sounds of a nearby stream and people laughing.  The vines were bursting with grapes. The tables were distanced, but families and friends gathered to listen to a live band, eat food, and drink great wine.  Just for an afternoon, the pandemic was forgotten and the sounds of life could be heard echoing off the mountainside.

Throughout much of the Bible, the vine is a symbol for Israel, but in these verses Jesus refers to himself as the vine.  Much like other imagery for Jesus in the Bible (rock, shepherd, bread of life), Jesus is depicted here as one who provides and sustains life.  The fruit that stems from the vine cannot thrive without Jesus and it is life-giving to the world.

On this Maundy Thursday, we are also reminded of the sacrificial nature of this image.  Jesus is the vine that produces life, but Jesus also commands his followers to love one another to the point of being willing to give up one’s life for another. Just as Jesus died for us, those who abide in him are willing to die for their friends. Such is the extent of God’s love for humanity. This life-giving vine bears lasting fruit that sustains the world with love.

The season of Lent is ultimately a reminder of our humanity, with all its flaws.  Just as that vineyard/winery in North Carolina was a sign of renewed life for me and my daughter, Jesus the vine offers new life to us. Jesus’ words here remind us of the abundance and vitality of that new life in him.  It is appropriate that we may be finally coming out of this pandemic at Easter.  It has given us new perspective on the precious life we have been given. It is our time to bear fruit.  

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Christy Wendland | Associate Dean of Academic Affairs


When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” — John 25-27 

 

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus performs the miracle of feeding thousands on the shore of the Sea of Galilee with just five barley loaves and two fish. He also walks on water, which is also miraculous, but not the point of today’s passage. After satisfying the crowd’s basic need for sustenance and grabbing their attention, Jesus introduces himself as the bread of life, the nonperishable nourishment from heaven that sustains one forevermore, provided one has faith. 

 

When I read this chapter, I’m reminded of the slogan, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Aside from serving as a snappy seller of chocolate, caramel, fluffy nougat filling and peanuts, this phrase just might hit the spot. It’s true that one’s mood, even worldview, can depend on the meeting or missing of one’s basic needs. I’m sure I’m not the only one here who has been “hangry.” Maybe that’s a reason why Jesus waited until after the crowd was fed before telling them he was the bread they need. But one could argue that that is what Jesus was trying to tell them in the first place. Just as you aren’t you when your stomach is empty, nor are you you when your spirit is on “E.” 

 

The season of Lent is marked by fasting, by going without. And depending on what you gave up for these 40 days, you could be craving a Snickers right about now (and sorry for the reminder). But the point of Lent is to deny ourselves, to get by on less of a given thing, to turn our hearts and minds upward and inward and remind us of God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice for us. It is our way of reminding ourselves and our siblings in Christ that we are not our true and best selves without the grace of God. You are only you, the you God means for you to be, when you are filled with His loving, lifegiving Spirit. 

 

Let us pray: God our Father, thank You for the gifts of Your Creation, for providing us everything we need. Help us to realize that these earthly, perishable foods and things are just that — perishable — and that You alone provide the bread of life. ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ Amen. 

 

Jay Salter ’19 serves as external communications coordinator at Newberry College. 


John 14 (KJV)

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

 

The 14th chapter of John’s gospel chapter opens as Christ knows His Passion and death are coming all too soon. He tells his disciples that even when he is not physically with them, he is preparing their ultimate destination.

Of course, a destination requires a journey, and a wise traveler relies on some sort of map, some set of directions. Thomas asks Jesus what most of us would see as a sensible question: “How are we supposed to get where we’re going? How can we find our way?” And that brings us back to Jesus’s words. He tells Thomas (and all of us) that He is the way. If we follow Him, we’ll get to where we’re supposed to be.

You’ll notice that he doesn’t tell anyone – not Thomas, not us – that it’s going to be an easy trip. In fact, the trip is sometimes hard and painful. It certainly was for Jesus, and so it was for the disciples, and so it is for all of us during our lives. There’s a reason we often hear parts of this chapter read at funerals, which mark some of our hardest times, the times at which we must say farewell to the people we love and cherish. And we all know there are other pains and struggles as we make our journeys through this world.

In those moments that bring us shadow without the comfort of shade, it may be hard or even impossible to see Christ going before us. But just as we believe in God, Christ tells us, we must believe in Him, and in the knowledge that we need to keep following Him, that this will take us to the place that has long been prepared for us. We will not make the journey alone; Christ promises us that there will be, that there is, cause for comfort and hope even in the darkest steps we take. “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life,” he says. We need to follow Him; the journey awaits. “Arise. Let us go hence.”

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Son, both road and signpost, as we follow our journey of reconciliation with You. Thank you for the Comforter who carries us forward even when it’s hard to take another step. And thank you for the peace You promise us at the journey’s end. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

 

Dr. Warren Moore is professor of English at Newberry College


In John 11, we see that one of Jesus’ best friends, Lazarus, was sick, and has passed away.  Of course, same as if we heard the news of our sibling passing away, Martha, Lazarus’ sister, was upset and distraught.  To this, Jesus told her to not worry, but her brother would “rise again.”  To a grieving sister, this was unthinkable, but as a believer, she knew that “he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”  But we all know how the conversation with Jesus goes.  Here comes the miracle!  In the next verse, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall live and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”  Lazarus then awoke and lived.  Woah!  Hold on a minute, what did Jesus say?  He said that both spiritual and physical life cannot be separated from Him but are aspects of what it means to have and live in relationship with Him.

 

BUT What does this mean to us as Newberry College students, faculty, and staff?

 

It means that we need to remember that to live in Christ means to live now.  Often we think that we have to wait until our judgement day to live in Christ, but the time to do that is now.  The promise that God has given to us by His death on the cross allows us to not fear death.

 

Mr. Amir Cromer said it best, “death does not exist in the real life, because Jesus has already conquered it.”  And that is the truth. 

 

So, how does a college student with all the distractions live for Christ?  Great question! First and foremost, put the Lord first in all you do.  Take ten minutes a day to read your Bible or any scripture and pray.  Prayer can move mountains.  Secondly, make sure your best friends love Jesus.  Ask yourself who you spend your time with, and why?  Are they leading you to Christ, or pulling you further away? Thirdly, get involved in a Church.  There are so many churches in and around Newbery County that you can find one that fits for your personal views and lifestyle.  Finally, walk by faith.  Because he lived, we can face tomorrow. 

 

Newberry Wolves, it’s time to escape the artificial bubble that you live in and enter the world by getting to know those you surround yourself with and continuing to grow your relationship with Christ.  He is the resurrection and the life.  

 

Let us Pray:

Hey God!  Thank you for giving us, your children the ultimate sacrifice by dying for our sins.  Please help us to recognize the distractions and the things pulling us from you and get us back on track.  Thank you for loving us unconditionally even when we make mistakes and reminding us that you are the way and the life.  God, please remind us that our spiritual lives and physical lives, although different, are aspects of our relationship with you and help us to keep those open and full of love.  Please watch over us and protect us. 

And all God’s people said,

Amen and Go Wolves!

 

Kaitlynne Goodman is a senior secondary education major at Newberry College


The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10 (NKJV)

 

John 10:10 is a famous Bible verse from the New Testament that teaches us about two very different mission statements—the mission of the devil and the mission of Jesus Christ.

Jesus makes it very clear. Satan lives to steal, kill and destroy. He is a master of deception, so that many times we are not even aware of his destructive forces in our lives.

He tempted Eve with a lie back in the Garden of Eden, telling her she would be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). She wanted to believe it because it sounded good. She wanted to be like God.

Interestingly, that is the very same sin that brought Satan down and got him thrown out of Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). The devil knows exactly how to tempt us, reflecting his own evil desires upon us. Everything he is guilty of, he deflects upon man and then when we believe his lies and fall into sin, he accuses us.

Jesus said it very well in John 10:10. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Satan took the ultimate fall. He was one of the highest-ranking spirits in Heaven, and then he was not just demoted but kicked out. He was shamed and humiliated.

When Christ went to the cross and died for us and then rose again, defeating death, the power of death was taken away. The devil has no more power—it’s all “smoke and mirrors.”

Christ won the victory over the devil for us. But we must take that victory.

Each day in our own way, we must seek live that victory

Jesus said in the second part of John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

We must learn to recognize the lies and deflect them back upon him, putting them back where they belong. That’s what our shield of faith is for.

We do this by keeping our minds in the Word of God, praying for spiritual sight, discernment, and wisdom. Our humanly successes are frail, they are fleeting and built on sand.

Understanding our human limitations we can’t cling to the truth if we don’t know what it is.. Jesus said Himself that He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).

After a difficult time in Jesus’ ministry when many of His followers had turned away from Him, Jesus asked his disciples if they too wanted to go away. Simon Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

Our actions reveal our level of faith. Peter stuck around when many others were leaving. Why? Because he believed Jesus was the Son of God. This is how we take abundant life:

  • Believing it is ours because Jesus said so.
  • Holding firm to the Rock when the storms come and test our faith.
  • Resisting the devil—his lies and temptations.
  • Increasing our faith by staying close to Christ—to the words He spoke.
  • Communing with God more and more.
  • Jesus didn’t just come to give us life, but abundant life. It is ours for the taking.

Let us pray…
Gracious and loving God…..we pray that we might see the gift of abundant life through You. Your truth is our guide and path. Allow our hearts to accept the victory that You have won for each.
Bless us to know the temptations of this world are false. Keep our eyes on You believing and victory you have won for us.
In your name we pray….

Dr. Jerry Alewine is the interim dean of nursing and health sciences at Newberry College


“I am the gate for; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and will find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:9-10 NIV

 

One of my earliest memories of Lent as a boy was that I had to give up something from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. Some friends were giving up dessert. Other were not going to pick on their sisters. I gave up turnips; I didn’t really like them anyway. It was quite a while until I realized that I had missed the point.

Lent is a time to reflect on our life as a Christian. It is a time of spiritual renewal. It is a reminder that the pleasures of life are nothing when compared with the many gifts that we are given daily in our walk with Jesus. It is a reminder of the suffering and death of Jesus – the cost of our salvation. It is a reminder that we should focus on living the life we are challenged to live through our faith.

A gate is an entrance. Jesus in the entrance. It is through belief in His resurrection, admitting that we are sinful, and asking forgiveness that we receive the gift of salvation. We are saved by grace. Our challenge is to live our life as Jesus has showed us. Lent is a time to reflect on how we are accepting that challenge.

Living a Christian life is, if anything, a life of sacrifice. We sacrifice in the choices we make. Freedom in Christ is choosing to do what we should, not what we can. Do we choose to give our time to others rather to ourselves? Do we choose not to do things that could lead other down a wrong path? Do we follow that path because we want approval or acceptance from others? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? Do we welcome and help strangers? Do we give without expectation of reward? Do we allow others to give to us by asking for their help when needed? Do we only make ourselves available to those who are like up? Do we follow those who tell us what we want to hear rather than what we need to hear?

I still give up turnips, not as a sacrifice but as a reminder. A sacrifice made for love is no sacrifice at all.

“Here I am, Lord. It is I, Lord. I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.” (Written by John Michael Talbot.)

 

Let us pray,

“Father God, you stand by the gate showing us the path to salvation. Help us to answer your call. Help us to live our life as you would have us. Help us to know and share your love.”

 

Dr. Dennis Lambries is professor of practice in political science at Newberry College.


“I am the Light of the World”

John 8:1-12

 

“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” This is Jesus’s response to a group of religious leaders who have brought before him a woman caught committing adultery and who want her to be stoned as punishment. None of them take Jesus up on his offer. In fact, every single one of them walks away without saying a word.

 

This passage is a hard one to hear if we are listening closely. We live in a world often divided and angry. Judging the values and decisions of others seems to be a way of life these days. We see this on social media. We see it among elected officials who seemingly agree on very little — and do so loudly. Listening to understand another person’s experience or perspective is definitely out of fashion. Instead, we listen just long enough to summon a reaction.

 

The fact is self-righteous anger feels good, the strength of our convictions easily tipping over into a sense of superiority. Not to mention that it is so much easier to feel others stepping on our toes than recognize all the ways we step on others’. There is room for righteous anger in the world — in those places where injustice and inhumanity reign. But righteous anger untampered by humility quickly turns dangerous.

 

The season of Lent is a call for us to turn inward and examine ourselves, as both individuals and as communities. It is a time to face the inner shadows that are more comfortable to avoid. How have I done harm? Where have I failed to see suffering? When have I chosen my desires over others’ needs? Why am I quick to blame others while slow to examine my own heart?

 

Right after Jesus sends the woman away without condemning her, he declares, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” May we summon the courage during Lent to face our shadows so that we can walk in the Light of the Holy One who is always present to us.

 

Prayer: God of Grace and Mercy, no one is perfect. Even though we know this, avoiding our own shadows and blaming others is the easier path. Grant us the courage to face our own shadows, our sins known and unknown, so that we may live more fully into your Light and also, as you have called us to do, extend that Light to others. Amen.

 

Dr. Krista E. Hughes serves as director of the Muller Center and as associate professor of religion at Newberry College.


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I had hit the wall. Things weren't right with my head, heart, life, college, and I didn't know where to turn. As a Newberry College sophomore, working two part-time jobs, serving as SGA treasurer and the precursor to ACE president, Theta Chi chaplain, trying to be an all-around good guy and busier than I should be, I needed to go to church. I went to Redeemer in Newberry for their Ash Wednesday service. I went through the motions of worship — stand, sit, and kneel, etc. (often referred to as the Lutheran aerobics) but I didn't hear a word that was said.

 

I realized I was at "home" and noticed the familiar aspects that were missing from my life at college. I needed to reorder my priorities and get back to something I had grown up doing — sharing my faith. It seemed I had returned to a something that may have answers for me, or at least a beacon, a hook that I could hang onto in an unfamiliar time and place in my life. I needed something to be right in my life. After the service, I offered my help to the family lIfe director who knew me from my time in Lutheran Youth.

 

There was a sense of peace. I had my beacon, a hook to rearrange my chaos of college life, but I was then shocked when I got back to Brokaw (yes, I lived all four years in Brokaw). My resident director, student teaching at the time, saw me and said, "There is a church that is looking for a youth director and I told them about you. Here is Pastor Smith's number. Give him a call." Within a few weeks, I was participating in a lock-in and working with their youth and would for two more years. The hook I was looking for developed into something more wonderful than I could ever imagine.

 

There are times in our lives when we are overwhelmed by life, the events going on around us, the things we take on with an "invincible college-life manner" but we might need to reorder things to make things "work." Ash Wednesday offers an intentional time amid our daily routine to take stock of what's going on, to give up something that keeps us from focusing on the important things in our lives. It is a time to seek prayer and turn our eyes upon the source of faith hope and love in our lives.

 

During the next six weeks, or 40 days of this Lenten journey, look for a weekly devotion written by professors and students in the Newberry College family. Take pause and reflect on their words and prayer.

 

You are loved. Take this time to engage your faith and listen to God's Word as we cry out,

"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me." (Psalm 51:10-11)

 

Let us pray. God of grace and mercy, guide us in this Lenten journey as we follow your ways and find the beacons, or hooks, to hold onto in chaotic times of life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

 

The Rev. David Coffman '97, serves as campus pastor at Newberry College.

back to top