Monday, April 6, 2009

Fear and Joy

The Good News has always been something announced to humanity.

In Mark, a mysterious young man in a white robe was the first to make the announcement to the 3 women who came to pay their last respects to Jesus. They came to properly annoint and spice his dead body. On their way to the tomb they were worried about moving the stone away. When they got there the stone was rolled away. A mysterious man in the white robe told them,

"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who
was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."
Mark 16:6 NIV

This was news then and it is news today. It is our Christian story, and the core mystery of our Christian faith put as simply as it gets. Jesus was crucified. He has risen.

The young man in white was the first to proclaim the Good News. It caught the women who heard it completely unprepared. They were ready for a dead body; not an empty tomb. They were ready to weep and the news the young man shared caught them off guard and left them in fear.

Fear is a basic involuntary emotional response. We can't prevent it or avoid it; fear happens when the unexpected and inexplicable happens to us and arround us. The experience of fear happens as the unexpected grabs us. The 3 women who came to the tomb were caught in a moment of great surprise. Some commentators will try to explain away the basic involuntary experience of fear. Some even say these 3 women were caught in a moment of awe and reverence and not fear; but awe and reverence wouldn't have moved them to hide the Good News. Fear on the otherhand might and does silence our proclamation.

Some how the joy of Jesus rising overcame their fear. Joy didn't come immediately for the women. The fear held them in silence; but we know today that they didn't sit on the story. We know that the Joy of the Good News overcame their fear. That's God's work in our world. Breaking through fear and doubt through the power of the Word.

May the joy of hearing the Good News announced for us break the chains of fear that hold us bound. May the joy of Ressurrection enliven us as witnesses to Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Nancy Marshall said...

Blessings, Unlikely and family.
What a lot of changes you have experienced in the past month: New house, new neighbors, new job, new baby, new church family...and a zillion other little things like new expectations of you. So I have prayed for you and your family that in the midst of that awkwardness you find joy and feel the arms of God around you and under you.

We're in our church building and it is a blessing. I am still in awe that God managed to find a way for us to worship in a church, rent free, on Sunday mornings.

From fear to joy...hmmmm...thanks for pointing that transition out.
Where am I headed with my Easter sermon? it will be something about expectations...expecting a miracle...expecting God to do all he says he will do....

We're on Easter Holiday so I have more time and space and will blog soon. Lots to share.
God is so good.

Peace to you and family,