From: Rich Carlson
Date: January 11, 2021
Subject: It's January 11; Good Morning Union

Welcome, or welcome back to the new semester. If you are new, my name is Pastor Rich and I’m the chaplain here at Union. Each morning for the past 24 years I have written a devotional for our campus family called Good Morning Union (aka “GMU!”). It’s been an amazing journey for me and hopefully a blessing for those who have needed a little extra help with their personal devotional lives. We are committed to creating the best environment possible for you to grow in your relationship with Jesus while you are here at Union. This is just one of many options that you’ll be hearing about. If your devotional life is strong and vibrant I’m not offended it you delete mine!! Just please read the PSs at the bottom so you can keep current on what’s happening from Campus Ministries! But if you nee a little help to jump start or challenge your daily walk with God, I’ll be here to help you every morning!

And for our returning students, remember I suggested—WAY back in November—before our 48 day break started, that I was planning on reading the book of Luke during the month of December; one chapter for each day from the first, ending on the 24th, just in time for Christmas and to remember what that day is really all about. Well, I did it and was SO blessed. Also, in preparation for my class on the New Testament story, that I teach this semester, I read a book called “Messiah,” a contemporary adaptation of the classic work on Jesus’ life, “The Desire of Ages.”  Between those two experiences during break I decided I would reflect back on my notes in my journal though those experiences and share them with you this semester. I hope you will be as blessed reading as I am writing about the story of Jesus. My challenge to you would be to use Good Morning Union, or whatever else you find useful and spend some thoughtful, quiet time with Jesus each day. The discipline of devotions has been the most anchoring thing I have experienced in my life. I highly recommend it to you as you start this new semester.

So here we go! First the book of Luke, then “Messiah.” I pray for your connection with Jesus every day.

Pastor Rich

Luke 1- birth of John the Baptist, and Mary is "with child"

John's father, Zachariah, had a special blessing for his 8 day old son:
"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising of the sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."  Vs 77-79

That’s ONE SENTENCE!! How would like to diagram that sentence in English class!?

You know me! I found a list in those verses so I was attracted to it! John was called:

  1. To prepare the way for Jesus to come
  2. To give people the knowledge of salvation
  3. To bless them with the assurance that that salvation comes through the forgiveness of their sins
  4. To remind them that that forgiveness is offered because of the tender mercy of God
  5. To assure them that forgiveness through God’s mercy will shine light in the darkness and guide us in peace.

That was Zachariah’s blessing on his son and I see a replication of that blessing as my calling in life as I serve you. I want to live my life preparing for Jesus to come again by offering the assurance of salvation that I have found that comes only because of the forgiveness that Jesus has already provided for me because He is so merciful. And I want that message to offer hope and encouragement to those in darkness and to those who need peace.

That’s what I wish and pray for you as we begin this new semester.

Have a great day patterning your calling after John’s,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “Stop walking around with a mouth full of Scripture and a heart full of hate.”

PS        Looks like the free car is gone!!