“All that glitters is not gold.” Stop. Take a breath. Tune out the shiny distractions all around you.

Take this moment to turn toward the Light of Christ.

Jesus shines each and every day — all we have to do is pause and see.

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Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s make three shrines — one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t know how to respond, for the three of them were terrified.

Mark 9:5-6

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Confession: due to the distractions of my smartphone and my rarely-quiet brain, I have a difficult time staying present in each moment of my day. Maybe you know what I’m talking about? I wait in line to buy lunch but instead of paying attention to the room I’m in, I scroll through Facebook or respond to a text. I chop vegetables for dinner but I’m actually miles away thinking about what I need to get done tomorrow.

But those moments when I’m actually really truly there — those moments feel special. Holy. When I look at the face of someone I love and notice their smile. When I set aside my worries at bedtime and just breathe for a few moments before falling asleep. When I push my body to complete a new task that requires my full concentration. In those moments, I am Peter on the mountain with Jesus. I want to stay in the moment. It is good to be here — wherever “here” is.

Caela Simmons Wood

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God of Here, I know you are with me wherever “here” is. Help me to realize just how good it is to be right where I am most of the time. Help me to be fully present in my own life and to notice your presence with me. Amen.

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Renewed, restored, refreshed, refocused on the Light of Christ — that’s you! Now it’s time to go forth and let your re-kindled light shine for all to see.

You’ve got this.

Go, let it shine!

Caela Simmons Wood

Rev. Caela Simmons Wood serves as the pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Manhattan, KS. Caela is passionate about examining and dismantling systems of injustice, especially those related to race, gender identity, sexuality, and poverty. Caela lives with her husband (whom she met in youth group!), two sons, dog, and five hens (eggs!).

What a Friend we Have in Jesus

Carter Harrell

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