It’s ok to grieve, it’s ok to learn to fall. / It’s ok to believe, to admit that you’re human after all.

It’s ok to heal, all of those scars buried deep inside. / It’s ok to feel, to say all the things you’ve been trying to hide.

We are always in motion, like the winds, the tides, the ocean. / Everyday I’m born again, I wake up I feel that second wind.

We’re gonna be alright.

from “We’re Gonna Be Alright,” Switchfoot (2019)

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What can I give back to the Lord for all the good things he has done for me? I’ll lift up the cup of salvation. I’ll call on the Lord’s name. I’ll keep the promises I made to the Lord in the presence of all God’s people.

Psalm 116:12-14

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How can I ever re-pay you?

I would guess that this phrase has been around for ages. Humans have always wondered how best to show their appreciation, whether to God or to one another. Too often, it seems impossible to adequately pay the debt of gratitude we feel we owe.

This question of how to give back has found a sort of counter-balance in recent years, as many of us are familiar with the idea of “paying it forward.” We pass along to others — even strangers — the blessing we have received, since we know we can never do enough to pay God back.

This could be a random act of kindness, like paying for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive-thru. Or it could be more specific, like volunteering at a food bank after your family has struggled to eat well, or giving blood regularly in thanksgiving for a successful surgery.

What if our whole lives were lived as a way of giving back for all the good God has done for us?

Peter Hanson

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I know I can’t repay you enough, God, for all that you have done for me. Instead, remind me to live my life as an offering to you, serving others and praising your holy name. Amen.

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God calls you to venture where you cannot see the end, by paths never yet taken, through perils unknown;

Go with good courage, not knowing where you go, but only that God’s hand is leading you and God’s love is supporting you.

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson serves as lead pastor at Christ the King/Cristo Rey, a Lutheran congregation in New Brighton, MN which worships weekly in English and Spanish. He has previously served as youth director in a suburban Minnesota megachurch, a street chaplain in Berkeley and San Francisco, a solo pastor in Vermont, and a missionary in Dakar, Senegal. He currently lives in Saint Paul with his spouse Sarah, a yoga instructor and international educator. Their two sons are university students in Tacoma, WA and Montréal, QC.

The Great Physician is Now Here

Ken Medema

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