Pause

“Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away… Look I’m making all things new.”

Revelation 21:3-5

God is making things new. God is renewing life through creation and renewing us through the resurrection of Jesus each and every day.

The question is not if renewal is happening around you, but how

May we have eyes and hearts to see God’s presence moving in our lives.

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Listen

It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy.

John 20:19-20

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Think

Fear and joy; two opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. And yet, the disciples find themselves somewhere in the middle. They are torn between their fear of what might happen to them and the joy at what the empty tomb means. We too find ourselves living in that middle ground, constantly wrestling with our fears and joys, our hopes and dreams. We are living in a time of isolation and distancing right now. If we are not careful our fears can take over, and we will find ourselves with the disciples behind locked doors – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally cut off from the world.

Just when we think that fear will take over, God has a different plan. For the disciples, the appearance of Jesus in that locked room dispelled the fears of their heart. With those simple words fear melted away and their hearts were lifted. We experience that peace and love of God when we allow God into our hearts to dispel the darkness. We are being made new when we let go of fear and live as resurrected people of God.

Rob Schoeck

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Pray

God of peace and joy, help me to let go of my fears. Help me to unlock the doors of my heart, so that your light and love can dispel the darkness with your unending love. Renew my soul, so that I might be an agent of change to bring about your kingdom. Amen.

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Go

God is working in your life to renew strength, renew hope, and renew life.

So today, choose to live into this Easter faith:

Let go of all that you are holding onto that does not give you life.

Live a life of faith rooted in love and joy, and not fear, so that you can be exactly who God made you to be.

And join God in the renewing of our world.

Rob Schoeck

The Rev. Rob Schoeck is an Episcopal priest and serves with his wife, Rev. Lauren, as the Co-Rectors of the Church of the Ascension in Twin Falls, Idaho. As relative newcomers to Idaho they have been exploring their new state with their son and bulldogs. One of Rob’s passions in ministry is pilgrimages and how people connect their faith with the landscapes and narratives from scripture and tradition.

Walking with a Friend

John Morton

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