Daily Bread July 14

Easter Rejoicing
Eric Wiant of Springfield, IL, USA

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. -Ephesians 4:31-32, 5:1-2

After Jesus’ crucifixion, he was placed in a tomb but only remained there for three days. On the third day, He arose. Following the discovery of the empty tomb, the disciples rejoiced as they realized Jesus truly had risen, as He said He would.

It has been nearly 2000 years since this happened, and for centuries humankind has gathered worldwide at Easter, over-filling churches to worship and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

In 2020, t life has changed completely. Sadly, a terrible deadly virus has spread around the world, killing many and causing others to suffer dreadfully before recovering. Many of us are experiencing home quarantine because we’ve been ordered to stay at home for our own good.

Not being able to gather, socialize, or worship as usual may slow us down but that’s okay for now. Jesus is still Jesus, and he still loves us. He is with us especially during these trying and scary times. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

The time has come for us to rejoice. This year on Easter Sunday, sanctuaries around the world were empty and that’s all right, because the tomb is still empty! Life may change but our beliefs and our faith need not change. We are still children of God, and God still loves us. Instead of being sad and allowing ourselves to get stressed by this current situation, let’s put that energy into prayer and praise. My praise today is that I get to watch my grandchildren grow up. What can you praise God for this week?

Isaiah reminds of God’s care during these difficult and trying times: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

May God always bless you and keep you.

Prayer Phrase

Let your world of beauty capture me.

Spiritual Practice

Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring of love. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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