April is now in the books. When I looked at my mileage on Saturday, I knew there was an outside chance that I could beat April of 2018, but it would take some effort on my part. Yesterday as part of that effort, I ran 6.5 miles. Today I went out again, knowing I would have to run at least 6.65 miles to beat April. By the time I got done running, I was at 7.2 miles. Which means I beat April of 2018. May is going to be a challenge as I get into the mid-year months that are all over 100 miles a month. It will be a real challenge to reach 2,019 km, but I think if I start getting in walks on off days, I should be able to do it. Most of my mileage this month was all running miles. Also, if I start getting in some long runs like today, that will help.
I am excited that I have 270 miles in for the year which is well ahead of both 2018 and 2017. At this point, I keep pressing on toward my goal.
It is one week since we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. This morning we continued the celebration as we looked at Jesus’ words, “I Am the Resurrection and the Life. I’ve embedded the video if you’re interested.
It was a wonderful Spirit-filled and Spirit-led service. As we looked at the topic during Sunday School, I realized how much the topic in Sunday School would match this morning’s sermon. It was very amazing. God “showed up” in an amazing way. Tomorrow is a day off. I had something funny happen this morning. Our Sunday School Superintendent asked if there were any bulletins. I checked, and wondered where they had gone. I knew that I had brought bulletins to church, but they were now among the missing. We searched and Pam came over to the house to see if I left them here. Finally I figured out that one of our senior saints had taken all of them, when she picked them up with her Bible. It was cute.
The end of the church year things are starting to show up on the church calendar — such as nominating committee, budget committee and even local church conference.
This past week, was a welcome relief from the busyness of the last several weeks since the beginning of Lent. There were no extra services to plan and our prayer team got to meet together for the first time in many weeks on Wednesday night. We had a sweet Spirit as we met.
I was ahead most of the week and was able to work on my sermon early, which was a rare thing over the last couple of weeks. We will ramp it up a little in May. Thursday, Pam and I are hosting a National Day of Prayer service at McCrae Brook. We are have our local ministerial meeting, where we will put the finishing touches on our plan for a community baccalaureate service. At the end of May, our church will also participate in the local Memorial Day parade and we are making cookies for Teacher Appreciation in May. So May is going to be a busy month.
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
I did have high hopes for this week. There was a possibility of knocking out enough miles to put April in the 100 mile category. I was able to get in 22 miles this week, bringing my monthly total to 82 and within 13 miles of last April’s total of 95. In order to beat April, I’m really going to have to go long on Monday and Tuesday. The good news is that I was able to run 18 miles this week, with a 4.5 mile walk yesterday on the treadmill. It was a real mixed bag this week. One day I was outside in shorts and t-shirt – another day it was long pants and long-sleeves – inside on the treadmill yesterday and inside on the indoor track today. But I am thankful that I was able to get it all in. Next month, the miles really begin to ramp up as I try to hit my goal of 2,019km for the year. That is equal to 1,256 miles. It is still a high goal, but with summer coming, I think I can up my miles and make up for January. With that, I’m Pressing On!
We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
John 20:19-31 New Living Translation (NLT)
50 days…we are now in the season of Easter. So often we think of Easter as a single day, but Easter is a season – it’s a season that we prepared for in Lent – while Lent focused on Christ’s suffering, Easter’s focus is on resurrection and new life.
This morning’s gospel reading comes from John and is set on Sunday evening of the resurrection and eight days later. Jesus appears to the disciples on Sunday evening. The doors are locked for fear of reprisal from the Jewish leaders. Into this fear, Jesus steps in and says, “Peace be with you.” I suppose you could also say…as we have heard many times…”Do not be afraid.” Jesus has now revealed himself to the disciples – and not only promises the Holy Spirit, but breathes on them. He also reminds them that they are sent just as Jesus was sent by the Father.
However, one of the disciples was missing from this meeting – Thomas. He was not convinced that Jesus was resurrected – and it takes another week for Thomas to resolve this conflict…but Jesus finally appears to Thomas along with the others – and again Jesus says, “Peace be with you!”
Jesus is not afraid of our questions – he told Thomas to check it out and Thomas in amazement cries out, “My Lord and my God!” We know Jesus’ words here, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” This is you and me – and countless other Christ followers who have never seen the resurrected Christ in person. It is a reminder that we walk by faith and not by sight. What does it look like to be in awe of the resurrected Jesus? When we remember his death and resurrection…we can ask the question, “Is He worthy?” Yes, he is…and when we realize that…we can be like Thomas and exclaim, “My Lord and My God!