Pause

The Spirit of Christ is already within you:

forgiving, healing,

redeeming, loving.

The God of our salvation is here.

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Listen

Whoever believes in him isn’t judged; whoever doesn’t believe in him is already judged, because they don’t believe in the name of God’s only Son.

“This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.”

John 3:18-21

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Think

Once when I was beginning a graduate program, a professor at orientation told us that the only way we could fail was if we went into hiding. I think he deeply understood that isolation causes many of our biggest problems as individuals and as a society.

He told us about past students who got behind. But instead of asking for help, they tried to just work harder. To catch up all on their own. To save themselves.

The message of the gospel is that we can’t save ourselves. That’s Good News. Secret struggles are toxic — guilt and shame and negative feelings that we bottle up inside. They can literally kill us. “Coming to the light,” on the other hand, can save us. It’s scary to admit we screwed up, to ask for help, to show someone our deep dark secrets.

But when we do, we usually find out these are not “isolated” experiences after all. They are the common struggles of our shared humanity. In the light, we can see that more clearly.

Kyle Matthew Oliver

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Pray

Jesus, shine your light on my path. Show me the way to openness, to connection with others, to mercy, to God. Amen.

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Go

God’s mercy endures forever.

We are imperfect,

yet we are called:

to freedom, to risk, to love.

God’s mercy endures forever.

Kyle Oliver

Kyle Matthew Oliver is an Episcopal priest and a researcher studying educational media. His website, Creative Commons Prayer, publishes multimedia spiritual resources for anyone to use and remix. Check out prayr.cc to learn more.

Reflections on the Way: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Ken Medema

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