April’s theme is New Life, which makes sense since Easter occurs in April, however, the first two weeks of the month still fall within the season of Lent. This requires us to live in tension: the tension between Lent and Easter, between old live and new, between death and resurrection.
That’s not a bad thing. Certainly, our lives are about living in tension: young and old, Democrat and Republican, poor and rich. We are constantly challenged to manage life’s tensions, which (if done well) can lead to growth. That’s what we’re doing here in April: managing the tension between Lent and Easter.
In terms of New Life, we can spend the first two weeks of April considering the need for new life. Isn’t our current life enough, we might ask? Especially if new life requires change and sacrifice? Can’t we just keep following Jesus’s teachings and trying to “be good?” Do we really have to die and be resurrected into something new?
The second two weeks are, of course, about celebrating new life, for it’s there we meet the Risen Christ. It’s in the new life that we experience the hope of Resurrection and life eternal. It’s in the new life that we find peace and healing.
So I invite you to live into the tension of April’s theme of New Life, seeing how your questions and fears can lead to shouts of “Alleluia!”
Prayer Bead Devotion
Cross: Gracious God,
Invitatory Bead: you call us to new life
Resurrection Bead: through your son Jesus Christ.
First Cruciform Bead: I want the new life that Jesus offers.
Week Beads, Set 1: Use each bead to recognize your need for new life, forgiveness, and resurrection.
Second Cruciform Bead: Yet I worry about what is required to receive such new life.
Week Beads, Set 2: Use each bead to lift up your fears and questions about what is required of you to receive new life.
Third Cruciform Bead: Help me to let go, to release, so that I may receive new life.
Week Beads, Set 3: Use each bead to consider what you need to release and pray for God’s guidance in letting go.
Fourth Cruciform Bead: For you are the Risen God, the God of Hope and New Life. Alleluia!
Week Beads, Set 4: Use each bead to praise God for the Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, and the gift of new life.
Resurrection Bead: In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ,
Invitatory Bead: the Messiah,
Listening Focus (repeat with each bead):
Jesus Christ calls me to new life.