Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fear, Joy and Resurrection Matthew 28:1-10?

In Christ we are blessed be people of hope. We are not called to be perfect or even normal. Perfection is reserved for God. And normal, a post chemo cancer patient says, is just a setting on the dishwasher.
In Jesus Christ we are called to live in hope. The day between Good Friday and Easter is a great day of hope disguised by grief. Just consider the Saturday after Jesus died.
Hope looked dead.
Jesus' friends likely grieved deep on Saturday after they buried him. Tears come with life's griefs, betrayals, and pains. Mary Magdalene's tears flowed as her rabbi, Jesus was crucified, died, and buried Matthew 27:55-61 and they probably didn't stop on the Sabbath.
But Hope wasn't dead.
This day, this Great Sabbath, can remind us of Jesus' time in the grave. Our Moravian brothers and sisters in their daily texts highlight this sabbath aspect of the day. It's a day when God seemed silent--but wasn't. Jesus rested in the grave. It's a day when hope looked dead or at least out of reach--but Hope has never been dead or out of reach. There's mystery about what happened after Jesus died. We read in 1st Peter 3:19-20 that Jesus went to reach the souls separated from God. There's mystery any time God seems silent.
We will, like it or not, have to live in the mystery. There are so many reasons why we wait for God some seen and others unseen. In faith we know God is work. If faith we know God is reaching for those we consider unreachable. Our faith is the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith trusts that somehow God has ways to do even the impossible.
Faith in Christ comes clear in the waitings days. These are the days when Jesus and the new covenant look incomplete--but the Good News is that God is working on a way. There has to be room in our personal theology--in our understanding of God--for times when God seems silent. Faith is the simple confidence that God will give us answers in time. Faith trusts that God remains faithful as we pull (see the prodigal's story in Luke 15:11-32 to understand). Faith waits on God's answers of yes, not yet, or sometimes even no. Faith helps us know that's God's not dead even if He's silent for what seems like a long time.
Early on Sunday Mary Magdalene went to anoint Jesus' his body along with another Mary. Easter comes just this way. It's unexpected. New Life comes just like this in the place where people thought death ruled supreme. An angle greeted her with news. "He is not here, He has been raised" The Gospel describes these two leaving with fear and joy Matthew 28:8 as the went to share the news with the others. It was then that Jesus met them and told them not fear but to go and tell Matthew 28:9-10.
The wonder of Easter fills us with fear and joy. Meeting the risen Christ casts out ungodly fear and emboldens us to live in faith telling the world the Good News of Jesus with joy.
Peace, John

1 comment:

John Mundinger said...

Thank you, Pr. John, for sharing this message of hope.