Pause

“...new life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”

Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark, 2014

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Listen

So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about the Lord or of me, his prisoner. Instead, share the suffering for the good news, depending on God’s power. God is the one who saved and called us with a holy calling. This wasn’t based on what we have done, but it was based on his own purpose and grace that he gave us in Christ Jesus before time began.

2 Timothy 1:8-9

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Think

Suffering is part of our faith journey. The passage today reminds us that suffering is a reality, but also that God and God’s grace are with us and empowering us to have courage in the face of evil.

Ruby Bridges was six years old when a judge ordered her elementary school to  desegregate. She was the first African American student at William Franz Elementary School in New Orleans. Many protested this change. Mobs gathered in anger, hurling hateful insults at Ruby. Each day she was escorted into school by US Marshalls walking past mobs.

Child psychologist Robert Coles interviewed Ruby for a book he was writing on the spiritual lives of children. He observed her walking into school one day, and her lips were moving. He asked her what she was saying. Ruby told Coles that she was praying. Ruby usually stopped to pray for those persecuting her a few blocks away, but that day she prayed in the midst of the mob. What a testimony of courage and faith in the midst of hardship.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

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Pray

Gracious God, today I pray for those who are suffering and struggling to see your love and grace at work. Thank you for the love and grace you have given so freely. Empower me to share that grace whether I am at home or school. Amen.

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Go

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

Susan Sytsma Bratt is the Associate Pastor at Northridge Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. She drinks way too much coffee and loves exploring the world with her husband and their toddler.

Making Space: He Leadeth Me

Carter Harrell

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