“ life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”

Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark, 2014

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I’m grateful to God, whom I serve with a good conscience as my ancestors did. I constantly remember you in my prayers day and night. When I remember your tears, I long to see you so that I can be filled with happiness. I’m reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I’m sure that this faith is also inside you. Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.

2 Timothy 1:3-7

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“God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.”

If you watch the news, there is much to be afraid of. This spring and summer, it seemed like every time you turned on the news or skimmed Facebook there were more stories of shootings, violence, terror attacks. I wanted to run and hide. I had a hard time trying to figure out what to do, especially after the violence erupted in Dallas, where I live.

I turned to prayer, and I turned to people who were older and wiser than I – my grandma in particular. My grandma is 88, and she was born and raised in Germany. She grew up during World War II. That was a tough time. Yet, she has tremendous faith, not without fears or concerns. I turn to her, just as the author of 2 Timothy turns to those around him.

Today reflect on your spiritual ancestors. Who are they? What have they taught you? Christians have a term for these people – the great cloud of witnesses. If they are alive, take the time to share with them how they have shaped your faith.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

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God, today I am grateful for the people you have placed in my life who have embodied your love and grace. Bless and keep them. Empower me to share that same love and grace with others today. Amen.

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

Susan Sytsma Bratt is the Associate Pastor at Northridge Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. She drinks way too much coffee and loves exploring the world with her husband and their toddler.

Making Space: He Leadeth Me

Carter Harrell

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