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.

next >

Listen

You now rejoice in this hope, even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials. This is necessary so that your faith may be found genuine. (Your faith is more valuable than gold, which will be destroyed even though it is itself tested by fire.) Your genuine faith will result in praise, glory, and honor for you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you’ve never seen him, you love him. Even though you don’t see him now, you trust him and so rejoice with a glorious joy that is too much for words. You are receiving the goal of your faith: your salvation.

1 Peter 1:6-9

next >

Think

Starting something new is hard. Think about when you picked up that instrument the first time or started a new hobby. It takes practice and patience, and a continuous intention to keep trying even when you fail. I imagine that those to whom Peter is writing in this letter are feeling the strain of being a small Christian community set within a hostile context. They’re doing something new, and it’s hard.

So Peter encourages these faithful people to remain faithful despite their suffering. The easy path would be to abandon the faith, to give into the pressures of others. But Peter is praying that they stick with it because what they inherit by their faithfulness is new life in God.

Peter points to Jesus as the example. Jesus could have let “the cup of suffering pass” from him, but he knew the path he had to walk and took it... even to his own death. God has the final word, and with the empty tomb a new life of hope is offered to us. May that give us the endurance to walk God’s path for us each day.

Rob Schoeck

next >

Pray

God of the easy paths and the hard paths of life, I thank you for leading me down the path to new life, the way of love. Give me the strength and courage to follow where you lead me, even when my will and heart become weak and I want to turn back. Be present with me every step of the way, so that through the hard parts I know I am not alone. Amen.

next >

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

about d365