“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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May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5

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Mercy is another one of those funny words that carries so much meaning, and yet can feel vague and foreign. If we think of mercy as this dictionary definition says: “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm,” then mercy is an act that is rooted in God’s love for each of us. And the expectation is that just as God has shown mercy to us, so too must we act out of a place of love.

It can be hard to see acts of love. Our media highlights many stories where we are transgressing others: stories of violence, suffering, oppression. We see people who are supposed to be acting out of love, but only act out of self-interest and self-preservation. This is not the way of God. The new life in Christ that is offered to us by God, is offered to us in love. So let’s take a moment to check our intentions: are we acting from a place of love and mercy today?

Rob Schoeck

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God of mercy, who is always ready to forgive and heal, help me to see the love in this world. Help me to be an agent of your love, reflecting into the dark corners of our world. As you walk this path with me, guide me feet and my heart so that I may not seek my own will, but to live out yours. 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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