Last month I was invited to speak in church on Easter Sunday. I had become a sort of back-row-leave-early kind of gal with my health issues the past few years, so I was surprised the bishop of our Mormon congregation asked me. I assembled the talk every day for weeks, studying . . . praying. A strong feeling kept coming to me to talk about my spiritual struggles of the past few years. And, to talk of the moment I felt Christ’s grace. I also shared a special dream I had last summer that was life changing. Many times, as I prepared the talk, I wanted to keep those struggles (and the dream) to myself. I kept getting that strong feeling to share, though. So I did. [click here, if you want to listen to it.]
I make a point to have quiet time outside every morning, free from anything with a screen. I am certain that these mornings, which I set aside time to “be still”, helped me to prepare to speak to such a large group (and to feel more brave. I was nervous).
The phrase from the Bible, “Be still and know that I am God”, often passes through my thoughts when I sit outside on the back step every morning. I treasure this morning moment; I say hello to my place in the world (free from things that plug in or run on batteries). I take time to be still. This stillness wakes up my spirit to see many natural signs of God’s love around me. Every bird, every breeze, and every sunrise-pink contour of dark grey, early morning clouds cries out that Father in Heaven, and Christ, are creators.
I believe they are the creators who created our natural world. When we are still, especially out of doors, we do come to see God’s love for us in ways we overlooked. When we are still and come to know that God is our Father, we come to know LOVE, because God is love.
It was a very sanctifying experience–a glorious one–to dedicate so much time toward the specific topic of Jesus Christ. Since it was Easter Sunday, I chose to focus my Easter talk on PRAISING Christ for His sacrifice, His resurrection, and WHY praise Him:
- We praise Christ for His LOVE.
- We praise Christ for His POWER.
- We praise Christ for His CAMARADERIE and unfailing support. We need each other and we need the Lord.
I was filled with awe and gratitude for Christ’s love, grace, power and camaraderie as I gave this talk. If you choose to listen to it, I hope you feel those things too.
[If you didn’t see the podcast link at first, you can click here to listen: Easter podcast. Gwendolyn Soper. 2016.]