So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
…Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. -Matthew 28:8-10; 16-17
How do we prepare ourselves for what might come at us next? It isn’t easy. Jesus’ disciples had been through the wringer – Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, death, AND resurrection! They didn’t know what might come at them next! They obeyed the command the resurrected Christ gave to the women, “Go to Galilee; there they will see me… When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” It would be difficult to grasp that Jesus, the Risen Lord, was actually there, standing before them. Were they all having a simultaneous vision? Or was Jesus actually there, in the flesh, before their very eyes? They worshiped even though some doubted. I love that they are able to worship even while doubting. It gives me great hope and confidence that God hears my prayers and delights in my act of worship, even through my doubt and fear.
Where do you find yourself these days? Are you hopeful for a return to some of our beloved activities and church functions? Or are you bracing yourself for whatever might come at us next… now what? Are you worshiping the Risen Lord and also in a position of doubt? It’s ok to do both at the same time. Our Easter sermon series, “Now What” will explore the resurrection appearances and ask the dual questions of: what is coming at us next? AND what is God calling us to now?
As you celebrate the risen Lord this week, take time to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, watching the season change from winter to new life. Just as the seasons change bringing new hope, new joy, new life all around us, may we experience God’s blessing of new life in our homes and our hearts. Perhaps your question this week of “Now What?” will bring you an anticipation of what God is creating and birthing in you and in the world rather than fear or dread of what might happen next.
Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit we have been raised from the waters of baptism to share in your glorious resurrection. Yet we have not lived as Easter people. We are unsure of your promise, confused about your will, and afraid in the face of danger. Like Mary, we weep at the tomb, but do not recognize your presence. Call us by name, risen Lord, that we may know you with confidence. Whenever we are tempted to fear death, give us courage to confess your Easter victory. Whenever we are distracted by petty conflicts, keep our minds on your reconciling love. Whenever we are overwhelmed by the power of evil, reveal again to us your triumph over the destructive powers of oppression. Forgive us our sin and let our lives be a testimony to your salvation through the love of God and by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.