The Truth About Rising up in Spite of the Ache

Last April I was blessed to travel to St. Louis to train for the United Methodist Women’s Annual Mission U event. While there I had an opportunity to train with Janet Wolfe, author of Practicing Resurrection. She had an amazing way of incorporating worship and the arts into each lesson and I marveled at her teaching style. Since my return, I have incorporated Janet’s styles of teaching in my own ministry setting. This past weekend I led the Campus Ministers of the Texas Annual Conference in a writing prompt inspired by Andra Day’s song Rise up.

We listened to the song, and then we answered the following questions in a circle of sharing:

  • Who in our ministry setting or communities need us to rise?
  • What systems in our ministry setting or communities do we need to rise up against?
  • How are we or how can we continue to rise to meet the needs of those in our communities or ministry settings?

Matthew 28:6 suggests that as the two Marys went to roll the stone away from the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed, they were met by an angel of the Lord who shared the news that Jesus had risen from the dead. Jesus later met with the disciples in Galilee and gave them the task to make disciples. Jesus rose from the dead with a purpose and that was to continue in his work of building God’s kingdom on earth.

As we commemorate the resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, I think back on Janet Wolfe’s training and on the above mentioned questions, and I wonder how can we put Jesus’ resurrection into practice in our own lives and in our lives in ministry for God’s glory?

As we pause to think about what Easter really means to us all, I charge you to also consider how and where we are needed to rise the most and rise up! As I end this devotional, I encourage you to think on the words of Andra Day’s song; rise up like the day, rise up like a wave, rise up in spite of the ache. Rise up and do it a thousand times again for God and God’s people.

Prayer: God we pause to thank you for your son Jesus and his resurrection. We ask that you strengthen us this Easter season as we consider how we too can rise for your glory. Help us we pray by the power of your spirit to rise up now and forever. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Rev. Tabitha Mock Rankin is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference and serves as the Campus Minister and Director of the Wesley House at Tyler Junior College, in addition to serving Center UMC, in Hawkins, Brocks Chapel UMC in Quitman and Johnson Chapel UMC in Mineola. 

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