“Ruth’s life is not living up to her expectations. She is a childless widow, living in a foreign land, dependent on the favor of strangers. Enter the Redeemer – the one who can rewrite the ending of a story gone wrong, buying back tragedy and making way for restoration.”
“Nehemiah is faced with the news that the walls and gates of Jerusalem have been destroyed, leaving the city’s inhabitants vulnerable. What are some things in your life that need to be rebuilt? Are you ready to ask God to show you something that is in need of repair?”
“Providence does not mean that we have no free will. God’s providence does not rule out human freedom. Providence is not opposed to cooperation with God. Providence does not mean we are off the hook or that we have no sense of responsibility when it comes to spiritual growth. Rather, we cooperate with God as we grow in our faith by practicing spiritual disciplines or the means of grace.”
When Joseph has the opportunity to look back over all he had been through, his summary comment was, “God meant it for good.”
God wanted them to know that even though they were suffering, they were not forsaken. God wanted the people of Israel to understand that the hardship they were experiencing would not be the end of them. God wanted to give them a fresh start, a new beginning in their life, a relaunch, so to speak. By telling them, “forget the former things,” God was saying, “it is time to move on.”
While we can’t ignore the past – it happened – we can reframe it into a story of redemption by looking at it, by talking about it, by thinking about it through the lens of Jesus’ love and grace. We change our past by allowing it to be redeemed.
What is justice? The theme of justice is pervasive in the Bible but also is widely misunderstood by its readers. Commonly, people depict justice…
“I knew I needed to make my transformation, needed to get back to the place where I was a little boy who believed in the goodness of God and power of prayer,” he remembers. He called out to God. He prayed with tenacity as he climbed up the steps of Saint Ann’s Shrine in New Orleans on his knees. He even called upon the intercession of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.
“The grace of redemption can come upon us all at once like a crashing wave. It can reveal itself over a season of life similar to how the autumn leaves move from green to vivid orange, red, and yellow. It can even be relentless in how it floods our souls over and over again.”
There’s no question but that the first line ought to be the first line – “Christ the Lord is risen today” – because all else follows from that premise. If you accept that fact (and God have mercy on you if you don’t), it’s easy to “raise your joys and triumphs high,” and to know as you do so that the “heavens and earth reply.”