Daily Bread April 25

Choose Hope
By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin of Walnut Creek, CA, USA

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth…. -Isaiah 11:1-4a NRSV

We are tempted to believe that despair is urgent, disaster prolific. We can get lost in “overwhelm” through a million messages of fear-a constant barrage against the soul.

BREATHE. That’s first. Then KNOW.

Now is the time for taking off the fear-lenses that are blinding us from Spirit movement and human goodness. We can choose how we will see this world and how we will respond to what we see.

What is resurrection today? Is it an event, or many events? Is it metaphor? Is it basic biology, a regenerative truth embedded in our DNA? Is it a holy momentum we couldn’t stop if we tried, momentum that declares, “Continuing is the natural way; all life always, even in its dying, is becoming part of some other life”?

As followers of the risen One, the lens we wear is hope.

Choose hope and see the inherent goodness in the world. Find a grace not your own, breathing through you. Ask in wonder, “From where does this capacity for forgiveness come? And what of this strength to carry on that sustains in weariness and will not let us surrender to despair?”

Choose hope. It is a flame burning within you, just waiting for you to discover and live its heat, its light. It is yearning to be noticed in the daily acts that plead for your attention, in simple kindness shared, and the impulse to share simple kindness with others.

Choose hope, the birthplace of courage to speak, live, and enact the God-dream for a better world within us. Instead of flight from realities of despair, choosing hope is strength to enter them and resist what they are telling us about what cannot be.

Maybe the whole earth is tipping toward shalom. Maybe what we long for is just beyond the horizon. Maybe seeds planted by our ancestors are taking root in us. Maybe there is still much to flourish.

Maybe people are even better than we thought they were. For every oppressor, there are liberators. For every act of violence, there are communities dedicated to healing. For every cry of war, there is a movement of peace.

Choose hope because nothing is ever really ending, even when it feels like it is. Choose hope, the lens of a resurrection people, the good news of Jesus Christ for, in, through the world today.

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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