Ordinary Time


Neither age nor gender defines what bravery looks like.

Being brave emerges from the strength God gives us.

God calls us to be brave enough to love others at all times.


I exalt you, Lord, because you pulled me up; you didn’t let my enemies celebrate over me. Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help, and you healed me. Lord, you brought me up from the grave, brought me back to life from among those going down to the pit.

Psalm 30:1-3


My mother died unexpectedly during my second year of grad school. She experienced complications following a typically routine surgery. I became inconsolable for a period of time as my grief turned to anger. I stepped away from teaching Bible study. Praying got complicated. I didn’t feel like editing myself and I didn’t know how to say what I was thinking to God or my friends.

One day, my sense of humor resurfaced. Laughter allowed me to find my voice. I took a risk and decided to be honest with God. Being brave meant becoming vulnerable and transparent. Authenticity requires fearlessness. God can handle our truth and heal us as we speak it. I learned that God’s love was not influenced by anything I did. I didn’t make God’s love bigger while following Christ and I couldn’t make it smaller when I wandered off for a while. God simply loves us. God heard my cries! God absolutely pulled me up and brought me back to life.

Brian Abel


God, on my best days and worse days, I am received by you. Help me be brave enough to offer you the real me. Heal my broken places and fill me with praise. Amen.


God’s strength allows us to be brave – to love fearlessly.

The journey may include challenges, discouragement, rejection, and betrayal.

Stay focused on the One who calls us forward and holds us up.