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Thomas is one of my favorite disciples. His demand to see Jesus speaks of his deep yearning. Beneath the bravado is a heart eager to be released from the gloom of fear, grief, and sadness that overshadowed all of the disciples. Jesus meets him right where he is.

Joy and blessings to you all this Easter! Alleluia, Christ is risen! The gloom of darkness is dispelled as light rises and reveals what God has made new. And you are named and drawn fully in to the light of Christ Jesus, the One who meets you and calls out to you by name.

These reflections for Holy Week in 2021 invite you to consider deeply what you mean by "freedom," and what Jesus was really calling us to. What does following Jesus really mean? What kind of freedom does Jesus bring us -- and what is this freedom for? Journey with me, and find that the freedom Jesus brings comes only through being loved by the God that gives himself away for the whole world, and through learning to give ourselves away in love for others.

 

God names us, names truths about us and the world around us, calls us to our fuller purpose, and does all this as part of building and strengthening relationship with us. God's naming may come as surprising, at times jarring truth about ourselves. But it is always truth spoken in love. How can we do the same for others?

Christ Jesus loves and leads with a dazzling brightness of warmth and light that burns within him, at the very core of his being. Can we open ourselves to God's life-giving fire and light within us, to shine brightly for the world around us? Can we open our eyes and hearts to seek and serve Christ in every person, and to see and welcome the brightness of God illuminating each and every person?

Our cry, "Let there be Light," in such troubling times as these, is also the first declaration and invitation God speaks in the Bible -- God's first words at creation. 

We give ourselves to God. We follow Jesus. Come down into the waters with Jesus and be raised up, made new, and ready to hear God speak.

Lift up your hearts, friends. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. 2020 has brought a lot of darkness. But Christ the Light shines even in this gloom. Let us celebrate and claim and follow Jesus Christ the Light. Merry Christmas!

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