Reflection 8: Darkness Can’t Drive Out the Light

LetLightShine-green-web

… the night will sine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. – Psalm 139:12

Even a tiny light breaks up the darkness, but darkness can never, ever dim God’s light, or the Christ-light in you! Remember today that every person you meet has the Christ-light, too.

Prayer: God, thank you for putting your light in me; what an amazing gift!

-Denise Sjoberg

Reflection 7: Response to Grace

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For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

Good works are our way of saying “thank you” to God for the gift of grace. Challenge yourself to say “thank you” in a new way today.

Prayer: God, reveal to us new ways to respond to your grace. Amen!

-Laura Ring

Reflection 6: All Things New

LetLightShine-green-webAnd the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”
– Revelations 21:5.

Revelations 21 talks about God creating a new heaven and a new earth. Although the fullness of God’s new kingdom is yet to come, Jesus also taught that the kingdom of heaven is in our midst (Luke 17:21). How might Christ want us to make “all things new” here and now?

Prayer: Lord, sometimes it can be difficult to try new things. Help us to discern the path you desire for us, and give us the courage to follow you always.

-Julie McCarty 

Reflection 5: Just Shine

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Let your light shine, and when it does, you won’t need to tell anybody. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining — they just shine. – Unknown

It’s not bragging to let your light shine, it’s just doing what God has put you here for! How can you let your light shine today, knowing it is what God wants for you?

Prayer: Loving God, remind me when I forget that the things I am good at are gifts from you to be used for your good.

-Denise Sjoberg

Reflection 4: Prayer

 

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Jesus said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”
– Mark 6:31.

In our culture, it is tempting to think certain quiet activities are a “waste of time.” But Jesus teaches us there is a time for prayer, a time for rest, a time for getting away from the busyness of ministry and work. Do you see prayer as a “waste of time”? If so, go ahead: give yourself permission to “waste time with God.”

Prayer: God, help me to remember that prayer is about my relationship with you. help me to remember it’s okay to take a deep breath and pray at any time.

-Julie McCarty

Reflection 3: Divine Plan

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However, as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
– 1 Corinthians 2:9

Isn’t it marvelous how God’s plan for us unfolds? It’s usually not in the way we expected, but always in the way that is needed for us to grow. In what unexpected ways has the Holy Spirit revealed a glimpse of God’s plan to you?

Prayer: All-knowing God, send your Spirit in this place. open our eyes, our ears, and our minds to follow the divine plan you have for us. We love you, God! Amen!

-Laura Ring

Reflection 2: Abundant Life

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 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10.

Jesus says the reason he came was to bring abundant life to others. What type of life do you think Jesus wants to bring the people of Easter today?

Prayer: O Jesus, you give us abundant life in the Spirit. help us to share that life with others in our church, our local community, and the global world we live in.

-Julie McCarty

Let Your Light Shine 2013 Capital Appeal Reflections of Light

As promised we will be posting the reflections that are also available in print form at both sites. Contributors are members of Easter’s newly formed Spiritual Life Team. Out goal is to assist people in amplifying their spiritual life by teaching about the power of prayer through many different avenues. To learn more about prayer and growing your spiritual life, follow this blog.

We encourage you to use these reflections as you pray for Easter’s Capital Appeal and our vision for the future of Easter Church. These reflections are meant to guide you as you prayerfully think about the appeal over the next few weeks.

-Editor Sarah Barber

LetLightShine-green-web

 

Week One

Reflection 1: Let it Shine!

Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m going to let it shine! – Children’s Song

You’re not hiding your light under a bushel, are you? What are some of your gifts that you can uncover and let shine?

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for giving us each unique gifts to use to your glory. help us to see that those gifts are for sharing and help us let our own lights shine for you.

-Denise Sjoberg

Good Friday and Easter …

Christ is Risen! Alleluia

We sometimes live in this world as though Good Friday doesn’t matter but I like to think that the only way we can live in the light and shine for our God is to remember Good Friday because without Good Friday there is no Easter.

Here’s a few thought about Good Friday from an article I read several years ago. The author gives four principles for changing your expectations related to Good Friday:

1. Check the Definitions: “God’s definition of “good” undobtedly confounds and far exceeds my own.”

2. Re-evaluate Death: “The rumors of our demise, it turns out, are greatly exaggerated. With God, the end is the beginning.”

3. Keep Time: This one is about the church calendar particularly Lent and the meaning it can hold for Christians when we know what it means. “Lent, they claim, can facilitate a small death to self that becomes an opening to new life.”

4. Expect the Unexpected: This was by far my favorite principle. “The world offers promises full of emptiness. But Easter offers emptiness full of promise.” She’s talking about the empty cross, empty tomb, empty grave-clothes … all full of promise. “I’m going to believe that if I’ll just leave my empty spaces empty, he’ll fill them. That, I’m convinced, is a reasonable expectation.”

“Without Good Friday, there would be no Easter morning.” I wanted to share this with you all even though Good Friday for this year is past … It is always a good reminder that on your Good Fridays you need to remember that the resurrection isn’t possible without Good Friday or in other words we need to have our bad days for the good days to be that much better! I pray for more Easters in your lives then Good Fridays.

I hope that the following song that kept running through my head yesterday and this morning reminds you all that “without Good Friday, there would be no Easter morning.”

Ev’ry morning is Easter morning from now
Ev’ry day’s resurrection day, the past is over and gone!

Good-bye guilt, good-bye fear, good riddance! Hello, Lord, Hello, sun!
I am one of the Easter People! My new life has begun!

Ev’ry morning is Easter morning from now on!
Ev’ry day’s resurrection day, the past is over and gone!

Daily news is so bad it seems the Good News never gets heard.
Get it straight from the Easter People! God’s in charge spread the word!

Ev’ry morning is Easter morning from now on!
Ev’ry day’s resurrection day, the past is over and gone!

Yesterday I was bored and lonely; But today look and see!
I belong to the Easter People! Life’s exciting to me! 

Ev’ry morning is Easter morning from now on!
Ev’ry day’s resurrection day, the past is over and gone!
Ev’ry morning is Easter morning,
Ev’ry morning is Easter morning,
Ev’ry morning is Easter morning,
From now on!