Pause

Take a moment just now

To step away from the worries of illness and isolation.

Sit at the feet of a faithful Gospel writer.

Hear the stories of resurrection and life

And let those stories speak to you.

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Listen

The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace. So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t. People who are self-centered aren’t able to please God.

But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him. If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.

Romans 8:6-11

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Think

When my sons were little, we all liked to visit a park where there was a bridge over a creek. The boys would toss small sticks into the water on one side of the bridge and run to the other side of the bridge to watch them float by.

Occasionally, a stick would get stuck, hung up on a rock or poked into the mud at the edge of the creek.

Sometimes I feel like that stuck stick: not getting anywhere, and being buffeted by the currents and waves around me. I end up feeling frustrated and sulky, and I get cross with those around me.

Here, Paul is gently reminding us not to be stuck sticks. Paul strongly believes that we are able to orient ourselves to the current of God’s peace. It might take some realignment – perhaps a friend or even a scripture passage will nudge us out of the mud!

With the current of God’s Spirit flowing with us, instead of against us, we too can live a resurrection life.

Jane Claspy Nesmith

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Pray

God of Resurrection and Life, when I am stuck, help me realign myself so that your Spirit flows through me. Send me opportunities to get unstuck when I am at cross-purposes to your Spirit, and send me on my way in the joyous current of your love. Amen.

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Go

Listen to these words: “I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

Go now, knowing that God calls you by name, and claims you with love.

Go now, knowing that God draws near when you cry out in sadness and anger.

Go now, ready to live a resurrection life.

Jane Claspy Nesmith

Jane Claspy Nesmith, a member of the United Methodist Church, teaches writing and directs the writing center at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She enjoys singing, birding, and hanging out with her husband and two adult sons.

Praying Together

John Morton

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