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Happy Mother’s Day!  We hope you are able to celebrate the gifts our mothers have shared with us. We continue our series Empowered with the sermon Connect to Transformation.  The resurrection was one of the most transformational moments in human history.  It reassures us of a power that is beyond our energy and effort!  All of us stand in need of transformation.  Our world continues to debate this simple reality.  Until we acknowledge that we are broken, it is very hard for us to find healing.  Until we acknowledge that we are empty, it is hard for us to know what will fill us.  Until we acknowledge that we have sinned, it is impossible for us to find forgiveness.  Transformation begins with acknowledging the broken reality of life.  This week we turn to Isaiah 49:8-16.  The people of Isaiah’s time believed that God had completely forgotten them and that they had been left to deal with their emptiness and misery.  God responded directly to their loneliness and sense of abandonment by comparing himself to a nursing mother.  God asked them, “Can a mother forget her nursing child?”  Even if this were possible God says, “I will not forget you!”  In our lives we may feel that God has forgotten or forsaken us, but nothing could be further from the truth.  God’s words to his people give us a path to find the transformation that we need as we encounter the wilderness of life.  It is our ardent prayer that you will find your chains broken and the darkness transformed to light as your read Isaiah 49:8-16: This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!'” They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. 12 See, they will come from afar– some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan. ” 13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. 14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.  (NIV)