April 6, Ezekiel 37:1-14

Many very dry bones

It is a vivid scene: the Lord has lead the prophet to a low place. A place of endings, and emptiness, scattered with bones. It is a dry place. All the evidence points to lifelessness and together they wander among it. In the midst of circumstances that are seemingly without hope, the Lord brings transformation; a prelude for the Easter journey we are about to take with the disciples (see the John passages, below).

Walk the journey
Take yourself to a dry and empty place. Stop and wait with God. Share with Him a part of your life or our world where you sense great hopelessness. Let God speak to you of the purposes he has for these places, ideas, people, or situations that we have long left for dead. Let the words paint a picture in your mind, to carry with you during the Lent .

April 13 Isaiah 50:4-11

Know the word that sustains the weary

The abstract imagery of circumstance is brought close in this chapter Isaiah. Life has brought its share of pain, discomfort, mocking. Again, at first glance, all looks dry and hopeless. Yet, the prophet speaks boldly of a God who sustains him beyond these immediate personal sufferings. A God who turns his ears to teaching that brings life, to a Word that sustains the weary. So life-giving is this relationship that Isaiah declares: “The Lord helps me, who then can condemn me?”

Walk the journey
Before your day begins, take a moment to stop and listen. What can you hear? What are the thoughts, worries or fears that fill your mind in the morning? Note them down. Spend time asking God to speak to you about how He helps you, about His deeper purposes. Ask God to open your ears. Ask God to bring to your lips the Word that sustains the weary. How can you offer this Word to someone today?

April 20 John 20:1-18

Looking beyond an empty tomb

Mary’s eyes tell her the tomb is empty. She reacts, she runs, and she weeps. Yes, the tomb is empty. But it is not a loss; not a robbery. It’s a sign that God has brought to completion the saving work of Jesus. When Jesus appears to Mary, he says, “Don’t cling to me”. He points her — and the disciples — to his ascension.

Walk the journey
In a moment of disappointment, frustration or fear this week, bring Mary to your mind. Pause to remember her journey from weeping to delight. Even in the midst of your emotion, offer a prayer to God and ask Him to reveal to you what is really happening in the situation. Take a moment to rest in the peace that Jesus offers. Ask Him to guide your heart to expectant hope.

April 27 John 20:19-31

Peace be with you

Thomas plays out our common human story of disbelief, of seeking reassurance, of needing to see. Jesus reaches out to Thomas, even in his doubt. Thomas is not rebuked, but Jesus does offer him the truth that those who believe without seeing are blessed.

Walk the journey

Visit a place that represents a time in your life where you have believed without seeing. Where have you trusted God, despite the evidence being before you? What allowed you to have faith? What was that experience like? How did it affect those around you? Take time to thank God for the blessing of these moments where you have had a sensitive and hopeful spirit.

 

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