Reading: Exodus 12: 43-50
Passover is one of the major holidays of the Jewish faith. It marks the time when the Lord God "passed over" homes that put blood above their doors. On the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus was celebrating the Passover with this disciples.
As part of the Passover celebration, Jews partake in the seder. The seder is a meal they share. It is very ritualistic. I had the opportunity to participate in a seder. One year, as a camper at Mount Luther, our senior high group pretended to be Jewish for the week. We learned about Jewish customs and holidays. It was a good experience to learn about another faith.
To "re-Christianize" us, our counselors, on our last day at camp, had us listen to a song by Christian contemporary artist Ray Boltz. It was called "Watch the Lamb." It described a man and his young sons who went to Jerusalem for the Passover. The man told his boys to "watch the lamb" that was going to be slaughtered as part of the celebration. But in the end, they watched the slaughter or another lamb, the Lamb of God, who died on Calvary.
We should remind ourselves often of what happened on that Passover so long ago. It is the basis of our faith and should be celebrated and remembered just like those of the Jewish faith remember Passover.
--Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Watch this video for "Watch the Lamb."
Reading: Job 1
My boy scout troop had gone to our cabin at the scout camp for the weekend. We were going to do some work at the cabin and enjoy some time in the outdoors. A relaxing weekend in the woods would refresh our souls.
As we were getting breakfast prepared, the camp ranger came to the door and told one of our leaders that he had a phone call. One of his family members called to tell him that the church where our scout troop was based and where he was the sexton, was on fire. The man rushed out the door and headed down the mountain to check out the situation.
We turned on the radio and found out indeed there was a fire at the church. As it turned out, the fire was contained to the basement area and the sanctuary. The pastor had discovered the fire in time and the church was not damaged as much as it could have been. Unfortunately, it was later determined that the fire started near our scout equipment room. We lost all of our supplies and equipment.
While we were eating breakfast, the ranger returned with bad news. A truck was delivery stones to the camp and when it went to dump those stones in the parking lot, it overturned and fell on our scout leader's car. He decided to finish his breakfast and then went to check out the damage. His car was totaled.
Our scout troop had a pretty bad day that day. But, we survived. We got new equipment, our leader got a new car, and life went on. Just because we had some misfortunes, we did not give up. Neither did Job. He lost everything, but was rewarded later for his faith in God.
Closing: Pray for those who are having a no good, horrible day.
Reading: Exodus 12: 21-36
I was a camper at Mount Luther. It was Sunday night and we were talking about the rules for the week, what we wanted to do and we had started Bible study. The director came into the lodge and said it was well past our bedtime and we needed to go to bed right away. Our leaders said they didn't think it was fair that we could finish our study because if we didn't, we would be behind the rest of the week.
So, we decided to rebel (with the prodding our of leaders). We decided to leave camp. A group of us went to the kitchen to get some food. Another group made a sign to show our intent. And so, the next morning at five o'clock, we put our sign on the camp office (it read: The Israelites flew the coop- so did we) and proceeded to walk about five miles in hundred degree heat.
We found out after our walk that the whole event was planned. Our leaders wanted to show us what it was like to be the Israelites and how they exited from Egypt. It was a good lesson. We learned about the Exodus and what it was like to be oppressed.
We had to walk back to camp after we did Bible study at the church we walked to. It was a very hot day and to top it off, we had to carry back an "ark of the covenant" which was not an easy task. But it was a memorable experience, giving me the opportunity to live out an important event in biblical history. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: On a piece of paper, map out the journey you have taken in life. It could be your life story or your faith story. Share it with another.
Reading: Genesis 11: 6-9
In the course of one's life, you meet many people. There are people with whom you grow close to, there are people you work with and see every day, and there are people you just have a passing acquaintance with. Nevertheless, we are surrounded by lots of people and come in contact with lots of people in our lives.
How we affect those people, we may never know. We may touch people's lives and never even know it. There may be many people out there who have been affected by our actions towards them and we do not know by how much. You may not have seen someone for years, but they still may remember something you did for them. Don't underestimate how you have touched others! --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Send a note to someone to tell them how they have affected your life.
Reading: John 1: 1-5
As a child, I was always afraid of our house catching on fire. I don't really know why, other than I guess I didn't want to lose the things I had. I thought it would be devastating to lose everything you had in a fire.
I know someone who faced that situation just a few years ago. One night, his home burned and he lost nearly all his possessions. But one thing that survived the fire was his Bible. A few pages got some black marks on them, but other than that it was fine.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word of God stands the test of time and overcomes darkness. The Word survives, no matter what obstacles face it; even a fire which destroys a house and nearly everything in it. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Pray for those who have fears.
Today is a new month. On the first of each new month, we have a whole month ahead of us. Perhaps you use the first as a day of "new beginnings."
We are going to do something a little different today for our devotion. You get to pick your own Bible verse. I would make two suggestions for this assignment. Reread your favorite Old Testament verse, or just open your Bible and see where it leads you. Sometimes we need to be open to learn new things or see things in a different way. Today's reflection reminds us of that.
I took a class in college titled, "Religion and Sport." My professor had done vast research on the subject, showing how for some people, sport is a religion. He took the characteristics of religion and showed how sport fit into those ideals.
Some may think that his hypothesis is not even worth discussing. How could sport be a religion? But I think he had sufficient evidence to prove his argument. For some people, their sports rituals, observances, and practices do mirror what many religions do across the world.
Whether you agree or not, I think we could argue that it is good to be open about other's beliefs. So often we assume what we believe is "the right thing" and do not look openly at how others may view something. Keeping an open mind when listening to the position of others give us the opportunity to learn more about something we know little about. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
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