I have been on vacation for the past week and a half celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with perhaps the best family vacation we have ever taken. Merideth and I had the chance to be with our boys, doing things that we all loved to do together.  Every moment was a blessing.  

We were all too aware, however, that the world was continuing to turn while we were celebrating.  The news of growing tensions and violence around the world continued to trickle in, despite our efforts to hold it all at bay for a while. 

And then we heard the sad news that Merideth's uncle (her law partner and lifelong mentor) passed away after a hard-fought battle with brain cancer.  Our plans to return home had to change, phone calls and video chats had to happen.  Merideth spent one whole morning prayerfully and tearfully writing her uncle's obituary. 

Then we embraced one another, took our kids on adventures, laughed, ate and played together.  We reminded ourselves that life is short, and every day is precious, and resurrection is still possible for those who believe.  

The reminders that the world is not as it should be are never far away from us.  There are wars and the rumors of war.  There is hatred and bigotry that leads to violence.  Our loved ones die and leave us feeling empty and lost.  

But for those of us who call ourselves Christians, we have the promise that comes to us through Jesus himself, who told his followers:  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So today, embrace your family and friends.  Remember that your very life is an adventure in and of itself.  Laugh, cry and be filled with the everlasting hope that comes from belief that even though the world isn't as it should be---one day it will be.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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