Daily Bread April 20

New Life
By David Heinze of DeLand, FL, USA

[H]e will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces,
    and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the LORD has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
    Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
    This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. -Isaiah 25:8-9 NRSV

Humankind has often looked to the natural world for connections to our primal rhythms. Christianity drew heavily on the Judaic tradition of celebrating seasonal changes grounded in growing things, human sustenance, and the human journey.

We are gently and beautifully reminded each spring of questions such as, “What new life is springing forth within me? What cold and dormant aspects of my existence are now seeking revitalization and resurrection? What new discoveries are poking their heads out of the soil of God’s meaning and purpose for my life?”

I am reminded of leafless willow trees in winter and the rich green, swaying qualities they have to reclaim in the next burst of annual growth. The extremes of winter and summer are realities that speak volumes about the dynamics of human existence and growth. Rachel Naomi Remen writes:

Reclaiming ourselves usually means coming to recognize and accept that we have in us both sides of everything. We are capable of fear and courage, generosity and selfishness, vulnerability and strength. These things do not cancel each other out but offer us a full range of power and response to life… Sometimes our vulnerability is our strength, our fear develops our courage, and our woundedness is the road to our integrity. -Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal, Riverhead Books, 1996, pp. 37-38

Winter and summer are both necessary ingredients in the abundant life, but it is now in this glorious spring that we find amazing renewal at our fingertips-seeds ready to be grasped and scattered upon the rich soil of our life journeys. To me, this is the essence of Jesus’ passion messages. His journey to the cross was, and is, the human passage to encountering the worst and best of life-where we “behold a new thing,” where we have clean hearts created within us, and where resurrection is a principle of life.

Prayer Phrase

Spirit now live in me.

Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?

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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