An offering from Diana: Early on Sunday Morning

April 7, 2015
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This season as I read the familiar accounts of the resurrection, my attention was drawn to the phrase, “Early on Sunday morning…” in each gospel.   I recalled a very special early morning many years ago when I understood the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection for the first time. Jesus did not appear to me as he did for Mary Magdalene that morning of his resurrection, but I am sure I was just as amazed and forever changed. It was a time when I was wrestling with some important questions about life and faith. I was staying at a house in the desert and woke up just as the sun was coming up over the hills. It was the most glorious sunrise I had ever seen. I felt a peace and a presence at the moment and a complete assurance of Jesus’ love.river sunrise

There is something about Jesus’ resurrection taking place early in the morning that is more than just a coincidence or a convenient moment.   The word “morning” in scripture seems to hold a particular significance. In Mark 1:35, we read that Jesus himself rose early in the morning to pray. A few other beautiful and encouraging verses:

His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.  Lamentations 3:23

 Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.  Psalms 30:5

 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.  Psalms 143:8

 Morning by morning he awakens me and opens my understanding to his will.  Isaiah 50:4

I am not a morning person, but in the stillness of the early morning, I sense those new mercies, the gift of joy can be found once again, I am filled with hope for the new day. Jesus waits for us each morning to give us a fresh, new vision for the day ahead as well as for our lives. His resurrection power continues. He is risen indeed!

 

(c) 2015 Diana Beaudry

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An Easter offering from Eunice: Light

April 4, 2013
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I have said these things that my joy will be in you, and your joy will be complete.    John 15:11

light the candle

Each day we have the opportunity, the invitation to choose between joy and negativity, to see what is missing or what is present, to speak affirmation or criticism.  We can do this without denying reality or avoiding problems, but by recognizing them, doing what we can, and then focusing on the positive.

“People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it.  They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel the darkness.”  Henri Nouwen,  The Return of the Prodigal Son

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An offering from Lil: God’s mercies begin afresh each morning.

July 1, 2012
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When is the last time you took the time…
to sit…
and watch…
the sunrise…?
Completely…
from first light…
to full rays…?

Great is God’s faithfulness;
God’s mercies begin afresh each morning. -Lamentations 3:23

This is your invitation to sit and watch.

Clear any other papers or distractions away from your computer.
Close other screens on your computer if you need to.
Turn off the sound.
Set your phone aside.
Spend two minutes with each image.
Notice the color, the shading, the shadows, the tone, the feel of the sunrise.
Imagine yourself outside. (Go out side if you feel so led.)
Sit and be open to God renewing God’s love for you.

Repeat several times:

Great is God’s faithfulness;
God’s mercies begin afresh each morning.

Great is God’s faithfulness;
God’s mercies begin afresh each morning.

Great is God’s faithfulness;
God’s mercies begin afresh each morning.

– Lamentations 3:23

As you repeat these words, allow them to open your heart. Breathe deeply, and feel these words open your chest. Seek freedom within you as these words shower you with possibility.
Give thanks to God for renewing God’s love with you and with the world.
Give thanks to God the God’s mercies which are promised each day in as the promise in the rising of the sun.
Live the day holding the promise of God’s love and God’s grace and God’s mercy.
Thanks be to God!
May you see glimpses of God as you go about your day.
Lil

The Rev. Lil Smith
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