Pause

Look! I am doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don't you recognize it? I'm making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.

God (Isaiah 43:19)

Pause. Breathe. Let go. Make space. Behold. God is about to do a new thing. Can you see it?

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Listen

Then Jesus said to them, “Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other. There will be great earthquakes and wide-scale food shortages and epidemics. There will also be terrifying sights and great signs in the sky. But before all this occurs, they will take you into custody and harass you because of your faith. They will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will provide you with an opportunity to testify. Make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance. I’ll give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to counter or contradict."

Luke 21:10-15

 

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Think

Have you heard about the Sit With Us app? Natalie Hampton, age 16, invented the app to help kids who don’t have anyone to sit with at lunch find new friends. When Natalie was in middle school, she was bullied relentlessly. A change of schools helped her find a fresh start, and at her new school she has tried to look out for kids that might need a place to sit at lunch. Now she’s gone a step further, creating an app that allows students to find open places to sit where they know they’ll be accepted.

It’s never fun to be bullied. God doesn’t cause this pain, but God does weep with us when we hurt. And God provides opportunities for us to use this pain for good. When we feel alone, we are not alone. God is still dreaming new dreams and bringing new life into being through us.

Caela Simmons Wood

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Pray

Holy One who dreamed new dreams into Jesus’s time, help me to be an instrument of your peace. When others are unkind, help me to take the higher road. When I am hurting, be with me, God. Help me find moments of joy and hope, even in the midst of persecution. Amen.

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Go

We make space for newness, and God does not disappoint. Our cup is filled to overflowing with new life, new hope, new love. God is doing a new thing in our midst.

Let us go forth to share what we have received this day.

Caela Simmons Wood

Rev. Caela Simmons Wood serves as the pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Manhattan, KS. Caela is passionate about examining and dismantling systems of injustice, especially those related to race, gender identity, sexuality, and poverty. Caela lives with her husband (who she met in youth group!), two sons, dog, and five hens (eggs!).

Son of My Soul

Ken Medema

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