“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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Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”

John 20:21-23

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Forgiveness is such a tricky word. We hear about it in our scriptures and from the pulpit. We hear it about it in our pop culture and in the media. Forgiveness, whether we are offering or receiving, is about healing and restoring relationships. We seek God for forgiveness when our actions and words go against God’s desire for us. We seek forgiveness from others when we have wronged them, and others will seek forgiveness from you for their actions against you. Deep inside there is often a pain, a hurt that needs to be felt and acknowledged, before healing can begin.

We must resist the urge to ignore the pain, to self-medicate or digitally distract, or even to rush to forgiveness in order make things better again. These are merely quick fixes that bring neither healing nor restoration. Our Easter faith is an invitation to identify the wounds, feel their pain, and seek their healing. You are invited to let that peace of God enter into your heart, so that you might be healed and restored.

Rob Schoeck

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God of love and mercy, who liberates us from the suffering of this world through the promise of new life in Christ, help me to see the broken relationships in my life. Strengthen and guide me as I walk your way of love, and seek not only your forgiveness, but also the forgiveness of others. Open my heart to receive your healing peace, so that I can then radiate your love, peace, and forgiveness to others. Amen.

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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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