Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Take courage because I have overcome the world

"In this life you will have trouble and sorrow, but take courage because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

We took a moment to reflect upon these words of Jesus at the beginning of this morning’s Easter Sunrise Run as we also read John 20:1-21. We reflected upon the truth that Jesus took on the weight of the world (and by "the world" I don't mean this good creation of God, but rather the result of our failures to love as a human race). Jesus took on the weight of the world and was betrayed, denied, abandoned, abused, beaten, rejected, tortured and killed. But on three days later he rose from the grave!

I invite you to consider, as I invited those on the run this morning to consider how you have (or are currently) experiencing the weight of the world. What trouble and sorrow do you bear? This is God's gift to us; the same life-giving power that raised Jesus from the grave is there for us as we trust in him. In the story of the life, suffering, death, and resurrection the love of God is shown to be the most powerful power in the universe!

I’m glad that I got to start this Easter morning with a good run with my friends BettyAnn, Carla, Grant, Jessica and Kit. As we traversed our six mile loop one step at a time we were also in the company of a brown creeper singing in the Wellsboro Cemetery as we passed by, field sparrows and meadowlarks lifting their voices along Delmar Ridge, and a savannah sparrow contributing to the morning chorus of praise along Fischer Street. 

And while the birds are singing their praises, I’m singing mine:

“Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art! Thank you God, for the gift of hope you have given us in the resurrection of Jesus. As surely as Jesus overcame the world by the power of your love, my prayer is that the same power that raised Jesus from the grave would impact our lives this day as we trust in him. Considering our troubles and our hardships; by the power of your love in Jesus we shall overcome. Thank you for this gift. Amen.”

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