“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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Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”

John 20:24-25

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Within all of us there is an inherent stubbornness that is part of being human. When we encounter something that disrupts our lives or is contrary to our beliefs there is an internal resistance. We often adopt a defensive posture, saying “prove it” or “show me,” as we want to see the truth. This is where Thomas is in this moment. He missed Jesus’ first appearance and doesn’t believe Jesus is literally back from the dead. The very idea of Jesus’ resurrection contradicts all he knows about the natural world, so he wants to see with his eyes.

We have all been in Thomas’ shoes: wanting proof, wanting certainty, trusting solely what we perceive through our eyes. Our Easter faith reminds us that, as is said in The Little Prince: “it is only with our hearts that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Like Thomas, we too must learn to see with our hearts to perceive God’s presence in our lives, even when we cannot see it with our eyes.

Rob Schoeck

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God of deep mystery, often what I see and read in the news each day tells me only of bad things that are happening in this world. Open the eyes of my heart to see the hidden ways you are at work in the world. Help me to let go of my stubbornness and desires for proof. Help me to see with my heart the unfathomable depths of the mystery that surrounds you, so that I might be ok with the unknown. 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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