An offering from Evelyn: He is risen, indeed!

April 22, 2015
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Up from the grave He arose,

With a mighty triumph o’er His foes

He arose a Victor from the dark domain,Easter Lily

And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.

He arose! He arose!

Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Refrain from Christ Arose by Robert Lowry 1874

 

Christ’s resurrection victory means he conquered not only the foes of His day, but He also conquered my foes. Through the years my foes have changed. My personality has not changed so my attractions and my weaknesses have followed me through the passages and transitions of my life. Because Jesus arose from the tomb, I have been freed by God’s love and grace. He lives in me through the power of the Holy Spirit. I am not defeated by occasional loneliness and anxiety. I am able to face the unknown of aging with confidence and hope.

What foes has the Risen Christ conquered in your life?

He is risen, indeed!

© Evelyn Pope 2015

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An offering from Nancy: I have touched him with my own hands.

April 14, 2015
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. . . I have touched him with my own hands.

1 John 1:1image001

John writes from the perspective of having known the Christ in the flesh.  His powerful, straightforward witness makes our faith seem tangible.  He inspires my most exultant Easter joy with confidence.

Yet I know that John’s witness doesn’t explain my experience of faith.  I have tried to reclaim the moment when I first believed, and it eludes me.  Yet I know it’s not so much that I have touched Him as it is that He has touched me, and I can recapture that moment, just by listening.  When I push aside the clutter in my mind, I know His guiding touch, His restraining touch, His encouraging touch.  When I am truly present, I feel God moving in my life.

As I reflect on the miracle of His resurrection, my heart is full with joy at the knowledge that God reached down to touch me.

(c) 2015 Nancy Jagmin

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An offering from Lil: Resurrection is here and now…

April 8, 2015
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He is risen.  Christ conquers death again and again.  It is not a thing of the past.  It is the here and now.  It is the promise of a new world where the lion lies down with the lamb in peace. edward_hicks-peaceablekingdom

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust we are transformed by the Living Christ.

We are recreated by the Holy into new life.  But going back to the beginning of this journey, to Ash Wednesday, we have to know we are dust and be dust for this to happen.  Otherwise, our need to create our own identity will prevail.

May you carry the image of dust with you all year knowing the Living Christ is always transforming you and the world.

He is risen, indeed!

(c) 2015 The Rev. Lil Smith

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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 offering from Amy: From the desert to the garden

April 3, 2015
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Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I am he…for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my name.”

John 18: 4-6a, 37

As my Lenten season jumps from the desert to the garden, Jesus’ boldness in declaring, “I am he,” piercesImage my soul. In this very moment, when he could run away in fear and self-preservation, he knew who and what he was about. In the desert he wrestled with and discovered his unity with God, reconciling his testimony to the truth with the mission that was expected of him by those who did not yet understand the presence of the kingdom of God. From the desert to the garden, when the moment of choice came, he couldn’t not be who God called him to be.

How often do I run away from declaring, “I am she” who loves the Lord, for the sake of my self-preservation? How often do I choose to protect my life of pride, my possessions, over living in unity with mercy and truth?

Let my selfish ambitions die that the full awareness of God’s love may flow throughout my life so that I can’t not declare, “I am she.” One day at a time.

(c) 2015 Amy Moore

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