Wait With Joy!
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. -Luke 24:36-43
“I’m hungry!” Is a phrase we hear many times a day in our household. I feed my children regular meals and attempt to make them well-balanced ones. But those little growing bodies seem to always be wanting more. In order for Jesus to convince the disciples that it truly was him, standing before them, in the flesh… he asked for something to eat. If my words and hands can’t convince you, maybe sharing a meal will do it! They were filled with joy and amazement! It was too good to be true.
There are times in our lives when our minds play tricks on us. We can’t believe what we are actually seeing, and so we believe what isn’t really there. Or we believe what we have already determined to be true rather than the reality that is standing right before us. The disciples went through a lot of emotions in the short span of this one passage in scripture: startled, frightened, troubled, doubting, joy, amazement. Jesus works with them through all the feelings. Jesus reassures them that it truly is himself, in the flesh before them. He shares a meal with them. He cares about their fears and doubts, he meets their need for confirmation. He gives them opportunity and occasion for joy and amazement!
When was the last time you felt joy and amazement? Last week, my family made a trip to the Oregon Coast for Spring Break. It was supposed to rain all week, but we were thrilled to enjoy several sunny days playing in the sand, getting our feet wet in the water, and watching the waves. It was a wonderful experience to stand at the ocean and watch the waves crashing on the sand. It reminded me of the verse from that old song, “Have You Seen Jesus My Lord?”
Have you ever stood at the ocean, with the white foam at your feet, felt the endless thundering motion… then I say, “You’ve seen Jesus my Lord!”
I was amazed and joyful to stand at the shore and see Jesus in the face of other people, in the beauty of creation, and in the gift of sabbath rest. Friends, may we wait with joy, for the coming of Christ! May we see Jesus our Lord all around us and within us.
Wondrous God, we confess that at times our doubts and fears override our hope and faith. Forgive us when we lose sight of the joy of Your love and instead fall into despair and gloom. Lift up our spirits, Lord, and help us to remember the promise of new life here and now, not just the hope of resurrection for the future. We give thanks for Your Son, Jesus the Christ, who continues to offer us new life, who continues to turn us around and upside down, who continues to break down the walls of death in our own life. Forgive us, restore us and renew us. In the name of our risen Savior, Jesus the Christ, we pray. Amen.