Easter Reflection

Happy Easter!  Christ is Risen!

Mark 16:1-8

Alleluia! Christ is risen, Indeed! But at the beginning of today’s Resurrection scripture, we meet Mary Magdalene; Mary, the mother of James and Salome grieving the loss of their friend and teacher, and on their way to anoint Jesus’ body. They find a empty tomb and an angel who tells them Jesus has risen! Their lives are forever changed. What do we do with that life-altering news today? What is our role in the ongoing story of Jesus’ resurrection?

This week, live out the Easter story by being a sign of new life for someone. Give an Easter basket to a homebound or elderly neighbor, offer a word or sign of hope to someone in despair, make a donation to a life-giving nonprofit organization, or invite someone to church.    Jesus lives! and He lives in us!

Reflection March 29

Mark 11:1-11

Jesus rides a colt into Jerusalem where there are two kinds of crowds to greet him – those cheering ‘Hosanna!” and those calling for his death. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Jesus’ Passion. His real identity is about to be revealed. He is the Messiah and this is the week life turns to death and to life again.

This week, reflect on your Lenten journey and share that story of faith with someone. What has challenged you? What has surprised you? What do you most look forward to in the Easter season?

Reflection March 22

Jeremiah 31:31-35

“I will write my covenant on their hearts.” “I will forgive them.”

God seeks to bring hope out of despair, even God’s own despair over the actions of the people. God is with those who suffer, and the people hearing Jeremiah’s prophesy are suffering and in despair. They are exiled and without hope. God’s covenant is broken. The people forgot and distanced themselves from God. But God will restore God’s people. They will know God in their hearts.

This week, when you read a news story of suffering, look for evidence of God’s presence – hope, comfort, healing.  And keep searching through newspapers, magazines, and on the internet until you find these stories.  Seek to find the moments in life’s suffering where God is present. Share these stories with us and with others.

Reflection Mar 15

Numbers 21:4-9

We can probably identify with the Israelites in the desert as they faced moments of despair, surrounded by a dangerous wilderness. They don’t like the food. They become impatient with God and with Moses. Biting serpents get their attention, and they are encouraged to confront their fears – their impatience and inner despair – by looking at a bronze serpent on a stick to heal their wounds. Trusting God helps them through this difficult time. What healing might come if we trust in God’s presence and face our inner fears this Lent?

This week, look for an opportunity to help someone going through a difficult time or personal wilderness. How might you encourage them or help them along their journey?

Reflection March 8

Psalm 19

This psalm reminds us that the ancient Israelites might have understood God’s teachings about creation (verses 1-6) and law (verses 7-14) as the same. For example, the psalmist calls God “rock” and “redeemer” in verse 14.  How does that affect our understanding of God’s creation and God’s law today?  Creator God desires for us to rely on God and live in harmony with creation. This is a perfect message for Lent, a time when we are called to recognize and appreciate our dependence on God.

This week, look for God’s glory around you. Each day, write down examples of God’s glory in your calendar or journal, snap a photo with your mobile phone and post it to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Reflection Mar 1

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

In this week’s focus scripture, God makes a covenant with Abram and promises he will be fruitful – he and his wife Sarai will be the parents of nations to come. God changes their names to Abraham and Sarah to signify the change of course in their lives. God identifies Godself as “God Almighty”.  Almighty can mean both mountains and beasts in Hebrew, emphasizing the connection between God’s people and God’s creation.

This Week, identify a personal practice that you might take on throughout the week, or throughout the remainder of Lent that reflects our connection to all of God’s creation. For example, use canvas bags when shopping instead of plastic ones, save your fruit and vegetables scraps in the freezer and give them to a composting program, before you put an item in the trash consider whether you can recycle it, reuse it for another purpose, or even repair it if it’s broken.

Reflection Feb 22

Mark 1:9-15

For 40 days, Satan temps Jesus in the wilderness. The scriptures tell us Jesus was there with the wild animals and that the angels waited on him. The image of animals with Jesus sends a clear message about our connection to all God’s creation. God desires peace among God’s creation and an end to violence and cruelty against nature. No matter what our negative associations with “wilderness” are, we know that God is there, God’s creation is connected. We do not journey alone through Lent.

This Week, reflect on the moments when you’ve been in the “wilderness” of life – a physical, emotional, or spiritual wilderness. Think about who and what was with you at that time. Recall how your connections with God, creation, and others came to your aid. Carry these moments with you as you begin your Lenten journey.

Reflection of the Week, Feb 8

Mark 1:29-39

The life of a Christian – doing justice, offering hope and healing, and walking with God – requires a balancing of work in the world and connecting with God, which is suggested in this week’s focus reading from Mark.

This week spend time observing someone whose active and visibly-lived faith you admire. If possible, ask that person, “What is one thing you find most important to remember to do in your work and in your walk of faith?”

 

 

* used with permission from Seasons of the Spirit

Reflection of the Week

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Most of the time, having knowledge can be good for the person possessing it, as well as for others who benefit from the sharing of that knowledge through invention, teaching, or leadership. The most good is done with that knowledge, however, when the motivation – and action – is grounded in love. Paul gently (and with such thoughtful and loving words) suggests to his friends in Christian Corinth that sometimes even Christians forget love must be central.

This week, at the close of each day, take a moment to review your two most significant encounters with other people when you share the most knowledge or information. Recall your feelings at the time,; how were pride, or a sense of superiority, or entitlement operating? How was love a part of the encounter? In the end, was help shared, a wrong righted, relationship built or strengthened and/or gratitude experienced? What did you learn about being a person who followed Jesus’ way of love?