Thrive: Words of Promise – Amy Shorner-Johnson


Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
—Matthew 28:16-20

As you look forward toward a new year, what are your hopes and dreams? While I am not a person who typically makes resolutions, I am always grateful for some time to reflect on the year. I also spend some time dreaming about what I want for my family, about the person I want to be, and about my life’s impact in the world.

These words of Jesus challenge me as I think about the year ahead. Sometimes I find myself, like the disciples, doubting the light inside that calls me to shine brightly. There are some days when I am too afraid or overwhelmed to live courageously. Sometimes I feel as though Jesus could be right there in front of me, and still, I would lack the courage to act. Yet, even in the midst of such doubt, Jesus came and spoke with confidence to his eleven disciples. I too want to hear his words of promise.

As I reflect, here are some questions I am asking myself: What would I choose to do if I acknowledged the empowerment of Jesus’ message? How do I take that power inside me as part of the light for all to see? How can I remember and use the energy that I feel when I remember these sacred words? What is made possible by this vision for the world? What might I do differently if I really believed that Christ was with me, always?

May you, as you enter the New Year with hope of promise and possibility, find the courage to live faithfully and to embrace the assurance that God is present with you every step of the journey, even to the end of the age.

Amy Shorner-Johnson_325Amy Shorner-Johnson is the assistant chaplain at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. She is a wife to Kevin, a mom to Leah and Joel, and a friend to a cherished many both near and far. She enjoys listening to students and continuing to learn in a college setting, as well as trying to bring a taste of the south into a northern state.

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