Instead of closing your eyes and bowing your head in prayer, allow your eyes to lift up toward the sky, as if you could see the stars.

Allow your arms to follow, as if you could hug the sun.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

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Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day. Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you. To him be power forever and always. Amen.

1 Peter 5:6-11

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Do you remember the children’s game Red Rover? A chain of children link arms tightly before calling someone from the other side to try to break the chain. Do you remember the feeling of falling into those linked arms? Do you remember the strength of that chain and the frustration of not being able to break through?

The community of faith that God gives to us is like a chain of children playing Red Rover, linked arm and arm against whatever might try to break through. A chain so strong that the devil, disguised as a prowling lion, cannot break through. Or maybe we are the ones, angry and doubting and anxious, who throw ourselves at the chain and are caught… held… supported...

It can be weary work, standing side by side, arms intertwined, when we are buffeted by the trials of life. And yet perhaps it’s easier to do so in the knowledge that we are always propped up on either side by our sisters and brothers in faith, with God in the midst of us all.

Sarah McCaslin

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God of power and might, thank you for being with me when the lion is growling at my heels and I begin to feel alone. I am never alone with you. Amen.

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Rise up!
When you’re living on your knees, you rise up
Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up
Tell your sister that she's gotta rise up

from Hamilton: An American Musical by Lin Manuel Miranda

Sarah McCaslin

Sarah McCaslin is a pastor and clinical social worker living in Brooklyn, NY. She loves riding the subway with her kids, especially when the train is taking them to Coney Island.

Walking Toward Morning: Turn Your Eyes

Ken Medema

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