I think that most of you would agree that the past two years have been a long and difficult reminder that, as much as we would like to think differently, we have very little control over what the future brings. There is so much suffering in this world and challenges that we    never thought that we would face. However, it has also been a reminder that one thing we can always rely on is the promise of our Lord, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day.” (John 6: 40)

The past 40 days have been an opportunity to reconnect with our Lord. For me, it has been an opportunity to take a long hard look at where I am in my relationship with God through additional time in prayer and reflection. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the enormity of our Lord’s sacrifice and what is says about His love for us. It is very easy not to feel worthy of that love. However, we know that through the resurrection, since Jesus’s sacrifice was accepted by God, we have been accepted by God through Jesus Christ. How powerful and liberating…to know that we have been accepted and beloved by God.

The resurrection of Jesus also gives us hope. 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” As our humanity and sinfulness may cause us to fall, Christ is there to forgive us. He offers us the opportunity of renewal and regrowth. Through repentance and dying to our old selves we are given the promise of salvation.

I wake these mornings to the beautiful sounds of birds singing. I can’t help but notice the longer hours of light and the buds blooming on every tree. These are physical reminders to me of the opportunity of renewal—that each day we are invited to a new life in Christ and it truly fills my heart with hope and joy.