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The Resurrection and the Life

Today’s Reflection

RESURRECTION, the miracle of new possibilities, doesn’t occur without death. We are tempted to bypass the unpleasantness of Holy Week. It’s just more appealing to go from waving branches Palm Sunday to shouting “He is risen!” on Easter morning. After all, it’s depressing to sit through dark services recounting the betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion of Jesus. It’s nice to go from exaltation to exaltation, but life doesn’t work that way. There are interruptions to joy. Heartaches happen.

Easter occurs not in spite of death but because of it. Christian faith offers hope because it faces death squarely and moves through it, not around it. It means that pain, disappointment, and heartache are not final realities.

—Rob Fuquay
The God We Can Know: Exploring the “I Am” Sayings of Jesus

From page 111 of The God We Can Know: Exploring the “I Am” Sayings of Jesus by Rob Fuquay. Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

In what areas of your life do you long for new possibilities?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
—John 11:25-26, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Lord, open my eyes, my heart, and my mind so that I may know who you are.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Hundreds of people post prayer requests on The Upper Room prayer wall each day. Take a few minutes to respond and pray with some of those in need of prayer today. Pray with us.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 24 comments… add one }

  • Carol March 24, 2019, 6:32 am

    All of them!

  • Lou March 24, 2019, 7:22 am

    Like Carol – there are many areas where I long for new possibilities. In May it will be 3 years since my husband left. He has a new relationship and new family. It’s still hard for me to imagine- I’m not sure I want that but I don’t want to live alone.
    New friends, travel companions, more volunteer opportunities, more work- that is the direction I need to lean toward- I tend to isolate myself lately and I know that is not good.
    My youngest and I are enjoying a nice vacation away but still have the college decision ahead of us- I know God will lead her to make the best decision.
    I’m thankful for safe travels, warm sun, my daughter’s joy in these days of relaxation, the beauty of the ocean that God created, time off from work, and you all at the ur.
    I hope Andrea has made it home- prayers for All today. God bless you all.

    • Connie March 24, 2019, 8:29 am

      Three years…hard to believe. And you are victorious! God has a plan for you and it will be a perfect one. This I believe. May the Lord bless you and yours this Lenten and Easter Season.

      • Lou March 25, 2019, 12:17 am

        Thank you Connie- yes you have prayed for me for almost 3 years! Thankful for you and your prayers and support here.
        Wishing you blessings and good days.

        • Connie March 25, 2019, 8:24 am

          And the prayers go on! I feel a “kindred” connection .

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 24, 2019, 8:42 am

      Thank you Lou for being a strong woman!

      You are an inspiration to me!

      Blessings!

      • Lou March 25, 2019, 12:18 am

        Thank you Mary- as you are to me. Blessings to you and prayers for your mother and father too.

        • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 25, 2019, 9:53 am

          Thanks so much Lou!

          Blessings!

  • Julie March 24, 2019, 7:49 am

    I, too, long for new possibilities in many areas of my life. So many wrong decisions that have led to diastrous outcomes that I am still living with. Not to mention those situations, like my health, that I have no control over.
    Prayers for safe travel for Lou and her daughter and may God lead her daughter to the college He has planned for her.
    Prayers for Mary and her parents, may her mother’s condition improve and may she leave the hospital soon.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich and Anneliese. May Robert have a blessed sabbath and may Anneliese’s health improve.
    Prayers for Connie and her own morning doves.
    Prayers for Rusty, may rest relieve his symptoms for the week ahead.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell, may they be home safe and soon.
    Prayers for Jill and her family, may Gloria continue to have no pain and may all the family feel God’s peace and assurance and strength.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her pain be less today.
    Prayers, blessings, and warm hugs dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 24, 2019, 8:00 am

      Thanks Julie! Your prayers have lifted us up!

      May all who long for new possibilities be fulfilled in Christ!

      Blessings

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 24, 2019, 8:56 am

        Thank you all for your prayers for my mum.

        It is a joy to feed her when her appetite improves today and also her body is responding well to the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.

        Thank you God!

    • Lou March 25, 2019, 12:33 am

      Thank you for your prayers- peace and healing to you Julie and prayers that Megan has found a good job.

  • Andrea March 24, 2019, 8:12 am

    Thank you, all, for your prayers. We got home last night. Their have been many angels in the last week. Number one, my husband.

    I will have to think about the question in today’s reflection. The question itself requires reflection.

    With prayers for dear UR friends and those for whom you pray. God bless you.

    • Lou March 25, 2019, 12:31 am

      Thankful for your safe return. Prayers of healing and peace to you

  • Connie March 24, 2019, 8:40 am

    At my age new possibilities are meeting the old ones graciously and in a timely manner. I have been very blessed in my life but I am always looking for new things to be excited about and to praise God for.
    Thankful for:
    Andrea and Lowell home and safe.
    Robert and Erich and their progress.
    This Sweet Sabbath Sunday. Rainy, but pleasant.
    The UR Staff that diligently care for us.

  • robert moeller March 24, 2019, 12:39 pm

    Seeing my son find a job and make good progress toward being able to live after I am gone is my most important goal.

    Thankful that Andrea and Lowell are home safe and sound. The Lord empowers Julie in many aspects of her life, Thankful for her prayers for all of the UR family. Gloria and Marcy are on my heart and mind, as well as the people of th Midwest enduring floods and the people of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe after the cyclone.

    Thankful Mary’s Mum is doing well and has Mary to help her.

    Waiting for pre-qualification news from the home loan office. Have been watching real estate in the North Conway , NH are for some time. Hope there will soon be a good match for us and progress ca be made.

    Thankful for worship and fellowship today in church.

    Blessings to all on this the Lord’s day.

    • Lou March 25, 2019, 12:29 am

      Prayers and blessings for you and Erich. God knows all you have done to support your son- you are a wonderful example of what a father should be. May your search for a new home be successful and quick!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 25, 2019, 9:57 am

      Thanks for all your prayers, Robert!

      May your housing loan be approved and may Erich enjoy his work!

      Blessings!

  • Marcy March 24, 2019, 1:31 pm

    Oh yes, Carol, I agree! The areas themselves, are numerous, indeed! I pray I’ll be able to serve God outside my home. Making dinners for the homeless shelters and serving it, being a companion to visit those who can’t leave home, joining a Bible study and recommit to the lifelong learning of God’s Word, towards the ends of conveying that knowledge well. Mostly, though, I wish to receive God’s Love in such abundance, that it bursts to overflowing towards others! Praise God, our Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within us!

    A friend has stopped by and is helping me read and type. We have had trouble reading my prayer notebook, due to my writing. 🙂 We also could only go back and read only the last few days, and a few others, so I’m not totally informed on events. I have prayed for all by name each day for regular posters and those who visit, whoever they may be. We have persevered through my writing and have prayed for you, UR siblings and friends!

    Jill, I continue to pray for you as these days pass, and may God bring peace to you, your Dad and Gloria at this difficult time. I am keeping your Dad, Larry and sister, Becky in my prayers. Prayers that you are feeling better yourself, as you recover from what I believe was a respiratory bug.

    I’m so thankful to our Father that Andrea and Lowell have made it home! Andrea, I don’t know anything other than something happened to cause an injury while you were out of the country. I am praying for you as you recover, and that God lays His healing hands on you, making you well. Thanking God also, that Lowell was able to get to you. You are both in my prayers, as are your daughter, son-in-law and grandson, always.

    Julie, dear one, I pray for you, Megan, Chai and Tazzie. What a beautiful kitty she is! I pray for God to heal your hands as the weather warms. God truly blessed me when you were the first to welcome me here to the UR Reflections! I wish someday we could all meet together! You are loved, Julie, by God and by all of us!
    Thank you for praying for me; I know they have helped me battle my way onward through the Holy Spirit’s guidance!

    Robert, I am praying for you as you make this move to a new home. I’m praying for Annaliese to be able to do more with the new treatment available. I will also keep her freind, Doris, in my prayers. I continue to pray for Erich and a new beginning for you both, and that (Pearl? I fear my memory has failed me) settles in nicely. I am thankful God has blessed you with the gift of wisdom and inspiration that blesses all who read your posts! I join you in prayer for the UMC and it’s decision. I’m disappointed in its conclusion, as we are ALL God’s children and are to Love one another, not shun them. I also pray for the people of New Zealand and pray mightily that changes could come to us here in the US concerning weapons of war and ammunition that are too readily available here. Thank you, Robert, for keeping me in your prayers. They strengthen me, as I lean on God! I’m anxious to get the expensive glasses next week that will enable me to keep up with you and everyone here.

    Lou, I am praying for you as you continue to navigate the “thorny road.” But look how far you have come! Good is good, all the time! Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind. “‘For surely I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.'” (NRSV) God has already started you on your way and one day, you’ll look back and see, be amazed, by all He has brought you through! Rejoicing in God is always uplifting. I’ve been listening to praise songs through these months. What a blessing they are! I keep all three of your children and family in my prayers and am happy you’re enjoying this time with your youngest daughter as she prepares for college. Thank you for your prayers!

    Sweet sister Mary, I pray your Mom gets well soon. I pray for God to restore her to complete health. I pray also for you, your Dad and your family! Thank you for praying!

    Connie, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad fall. I pray that God heals you of any pain or discomfort real soon! And yes! Since Lucy is a redhead, I named her after Lucille Ball and the “I Love Lucy” show! She’s my sweet Orange Calico mix!

    Betsy, you and Grace and your family remain in my prayers. Congratulations on grandson, Harrison! The grandparent/grandchild experience played a monumental, guided by God role when I was growing up. Enjoy! Thank you for praying!

    I am praying also for Rusty, Bill and Edy, Amy, Carol, Sara, Chloe and Paige, Francesca, April, Gail, Lorraine Sukalski and her Bible study students, and all who are gathered here and beyond! Let us rejoice in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit at all times! Praising God in the Highest!

    There has been a lot happening with my health, some blessings, some complications, but always praying to God and praising His Holy Name! I miss you all so very much!

    One very important part is needed and I pray that God will provide. I ask that you all pray my insurance doesn’t end again this year. If April 1st comes and I’m dropped, like the last two years, it takes two months to reinstate. This is unacceptable, especially this year. I’m to receive pulmonary rehabilitation, a two month treatment for a serious illness and one, possibly two surgeries. If I’m dropped, not only do these get set back, but I lose my helper and the ability to pay for my meds. So please pray that it’s God’s time and His will, for my insurance to continue. Thank you! I will continue to praise God in any and every circumstance!

    I am thankful to our Father, for ever-stronger Faith, never-ending Hope and the God-Love that conquers all! I am thankful for Jesus Christ, our Savior, who carries us when needed! I am thankful for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! I am thankful for this time of Reconciliation with God!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! Love to you all! And (((hugs)))!

    • Lou March 25, 2019, 12:26 am

      Thank you for your prayers and LOVE. God bless you Marcy and continue your insurance and the ministry you provide to all of us here.

    • Connie March 25, 2019, 8:28 am

      FHL

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 25, 2019, 9:55 am

      Thanks so much Marcy!

      May God meet your every need and may your health improve!

      Blessings!

  • Marcy March 24, 2019, 1:48 pm

    Robert, while my friend and I were composing my “novelette” above, you were posting. In addition to my prayers for you, I’ll be adding extra prayer for Erich. I pray your health is well. I also pray for those in here in the Midwest for relief and that their needs be met after the devastating flooding. And it is Spring! Those who farm, fear they will be unable to produce this year. Father God, please watch over and protect these folks! I join you in prayer for the people of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique! May our all-powerful God watch over and protect them and provide for them! God bless you and keep you, Robert!

  • Jim Ritter March 24, 2019, 1:57 pm

    Do you have your devotions setup to be read on the computer like Our Daily Bread has theirs setup? It is getting more difficult for me to read now, as I am in my mid 70’s, and I would get more out of i if I could hear the devotion

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