Spiritual Practices: Hopeful Future (Joy- Luke 24:33)

“It is true! The Lord has risen.” -Luke 24:33

Living generously whether it is expressed with our time or our money is one way to acknowledge our trust in God’s future provision. 

Consider making a gift of time or money to an organization or individual you care about.  It could be volunteering at your church, child’s school, or a local non-profit organization.  Maybe you can commit to helping a family member or neighbor on a regular basis. 

Stepping out generously can be scary, but it is also an act of faith and hope that God will provide the time or money you need to fulfill your promise.


We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.


Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Spiritual Practices: Hopeful Future (Comfort- Luke 24:33)

“It is true! The Lord has risen.” -Luke 24:33

One of the gifts of faith, is being grounded in the hope of a good future. Even when our circumstances are challenging, the stories of scripture remind us of God’s faithful presence and the promise that this is not the end of our story.

When people talk about being “spiritual but not religious” often what they are trying to describe is the benefit of practices that nurture their spiritual health, while distancing from the institutions and trappings of traditional religious experience (that may have been limiting or harmful).

While growth can be nurtured, it can never be commanded. Engaging in spiritual practices is just that—practice not mastery, process not outcome.

As Kate Morton writes in her book The Secret Garden, “You make a life out of what you have, not what you’re missing.”

What spiritual practices would help you cultivate a life of faith that give you hope for a good future? How can you intentionally pursue a spiritual life?


We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.


Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Spiritual Practices: Grounded Present (Joy- Luke 24:30-31)

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.” Luke 24: 30-31

Moonset

Did you ever notice that joy and gratitude operate together in an upward spiral?  In her book Atlas of the Heart author Brene Brown cites research that shows greater gratitude leads to greater joy.  This great joy in turn leads to greater gratitude – an upwards spiral.

This week try to be conscious of moments of joy or gratitude.  When you come upon a joyful moment pause, as in stop what you’re doing if you can, and take three deep breaths in and out.  Name and absorb this moment of gratitude and joy and add it to your long term memory.  


We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.


Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Spiritual Practices: Grounded Present (Comfort- Luke 24:34-31)

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.” Luke 24: 30-31

It is so easy to imagine oneself along the road to Emmaus.  I would have been there. Processing the amazing and overwhelming events that had just transpired.  Trying to make sense of all that had happened.  Wondering aloud with my friends.  Walking and talking it out.

Walking and talking it out.

What a gift it must have been to have a wise stranger join them on their journey.  And when suppertime came they did not want him to leave.  Someone who could finally make sense of the chaos was with them.  The disciples were so caught up and present in the moment.  You can imagine their joy and astonishment when they recognized Jesus as he broke bread before them.  A revelation in the very present moment.

Can you think of a time when you have missed the present moment because you were sunk in past pain or focused on the good old days?

Have you ever missed the present moment because you are consumed with what might happen in the future? 

What gifts of knowledge or joy do you find when you are present in the moment?

Have you ever had a moment of astonishing joy or deep contentment?

God of the Present Moment, Open our hearts to experience Your present goodness. Amen.


We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.


Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Spiritual Practices: Processed Past (Joy- Luke 24:32)

“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” -Luke 24:32

The couple smiled lovingly at each other; an incredible seascape spread in panorama behind them.

 “I am thankful to have been where I have been and to not be there anymore.” She typed in the caption below the photo. Reflecting on her memory of a years ago “failed” mission assignment, the wisdom of a processed path came through in my friend’s reflection.

 Set aside some time this week to reflect on an experience in your past that feels tender to you. How have you grown and changed since that time? What did that experience teach you? What words of grace and tender love can you offer to your past self?

May your healing Spirit surround the wounds from my past. Transform my perspective so I can graciously release the things that have weighed me down. May I embrace with joy the person I have become. Amen.


We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.


Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Spiritual Practices: Processed Past (Comfort- Luke 24:32)

“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” -Luke 24:32

“What was your biggest ministry mistake?” he asked. Famous for put-you-on-the-spot questions, my colleague seemed to relish the look of horror that crossed my face as all the eyes in the room moved to watch my reaction. Since it was my farewell luncheon, there was no way to pass on the question, to step out of the conversation.

“That’s the worst question you could ask an enneagram one!” I reply with a laugh as my brain frantically scrolled through scenarios, trying to decide on an honest yet innocuous answer. “As if I don’t replay everything, always reminding myself how I could have done better?!”

As I now look back on how I could have handled that awkward moment, the questions of theologian Christena Cleveland have helped me to reframe my thinking, allowing me to extend more generosity and kindness to myself.

“What if regret is a lie?” she posits. “And instead, every decision or action is a pathway to deeper, embodied wisdom?”

Our past experiences are what have brought us to the present moment. Good, bad, well done or regrettable, processing the events that have shaped us, the choices we have made and the ways we have behaved is a necessary step to embrace our future in healthy ways.

Just as the disciples reflected on their encounter with Jesus and realized they had an internal knowing (hearts burning within), how might our own examination of times of confusion, disappointment or regret reveal a deeper knowing that provides guidance for our present?

God of transformation and revelation, may I recognize the deep knowing and gifts that have come through my past. May I attend to your faithful presence as I navigate the unfolding. Amen. 


We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.


Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.



Spiritual Practices: Series Introduction

“Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened…But we had hoped that he was the one…” -Luke 24: 13-14, 21

I don’t know that I have ever had a favorite scripture. I’m rather disillusioned by cherry-picked verses screen-printed on mugs, t-shirts and rustic wall signs. The trappings of consumer Christianity have left me cynical and jaded, if I’m being completely honest. 

And then– a text shimmers– and I am reminded why I just can’t let go of this journey of faith. The Word reveals and illuminates and I am drawn in again by the complexity, honesty and mystery of the Good News.

But we had hoped. 

Brutal honesty. Disappointment. Discouragement. 

But we had hoped. 

After the whole thing goes up in flames, the disciples talk together as they walk along the way. 

Perhaps deconstruction is written off as trendy now, but many of us have had our own Emmaus Road moments. The betrayal, the diagnosis, the death. No matter the form, at some point the rug of our faith gets pulled out from under us and we are left wounded, broken, wondering…wait, what? 

But we had hoped. 

Where do we turn when our assumptions about the future are upended? When the world gets rearranged against our will? When structures and institutions we have trusted and invested in cause great harm? 

It’s tempting to shake the dust off our feet and move on. To redefine everything; to choose to be spiritual but not religious (as if it all parses out so neatly). However, in the face of distress and pain, we need safe spaces to reflect, to share and to (ultimately) heal.

In this series we will explore practices connected to three distinct spaces: processed past, grounded present, and a hopeful future. Join us in thoughtful engagement and life-giving spiritual practices that will nurture your spiritual well-being.


We hope this brings you some comfort and joy! You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others. Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.


Some Comfort and Joy was developed as a devotional resource that follows the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Spiritual Practices Series

Later this week we are launching our May reflections.

Using the after-Easter story found in Luke 24 we will explore together practices that help us navigate when everything we thought we knew is upended.

Focused on the movement of past, to present, to future, we invite you to join us as we nurture healing and transformation.

Some Comfort and Joy is a devotional series that is developed around the liturgical seasons of the church year, from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective. You can share the joy by inviting your friends to follow our blog (and on social media) to never miss a post!

New Series: Spiritual Practices

Where do we turn when our assumptions about the future are upended? When the world gets rearranged against our will?

In our upcoming series, we will offer reflections and practices that help us process our past, stay grounded in the present and look with hope to the future.

Join us in thoughtful engagement and life-giving spiritual practices that will nurture your spiritual well-being for the month of May.

Easter Reflection: Garden of Resurrection (Mark 16:2, 6)

“And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. . .But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.’” Mark 16: 2 & 6

I can imagine an early, quiet morning with the sun just rising and the women making their journey of sorrow.  A tomb or grave, the site of death, yet located in a garden.  A place for death and also for cultivating life and beauty.  The women come with spices expecting to find Jesus’ body.  Instead they find that God has completely transformed the situation.  Jesus’ body isn’t in the tomb, He is no longer dead!

Beautiful spring surprise in a bush outside our house.

The setting for this early morning Easter story is captivating and symbolic.  Again and again God takes our mess and makes something beautiful. Our Creator helps us take the dirt and death of our lives to grow gardens.  It is the amazing surprise of spring, and Easter. The dark, cold ground of Lent becoming the fetid, warmth of resurrection. We cry and lament at our losses, just like the women going to the tomb, and this is good and necessary. And then, to our surprise it is no longer winter, but spring! Jesus is not dead.  Jesus has risen!  

If you have a few minutes, this song is just the thing to celebrate Easter!

Can you name some ways Jesus’ resurrection has changed your life? How have you experienced God’s transformation of dead things in your own life or in lives of others’ around you? Are you ever surprised by joy?

God thank you for taking the hardest suffering and transforming it into beauty and creativity. Help us to trust your redeeming work in our lives, so we may cry with all creation, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. Who was and is and is to come.” Amen

We hope this brings you comfort and joy. You can spread the joy by liking, commenting and sharing this post with others!