Life After Easter
Where is our world headed? What is going to be the result of issue X, Y or Z?! These questions and so many other questions like them can cause fear, anxiety and tempt us to despair. Are we tempted to put on a robe of apathy to the world around us when current events bombard us with a sense of powerlessness?
The reality of life presents another opportunity to remember how epic and how timeless God’s Word is. Let’s open our Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew to see how the context of God’s work over 2,000 years ago continues to apply to how we approach the world around us. (Hint: we will not be approaching the world around us in robes of apathy!)
“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the LORD descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.’” – Matthew 28:1-10
Why fill up an Easter letter with ten verses of Scripture? What does this historical account from 2,000 years ago have to do with how we approach the world around us? Take note of the underlined portions of this passage. The angel reminding the women to remember how things are happening just as Jesus said they would, so also we can be sure that when we continue to face the daunting issues of the present age that God’s promise to make all things new in heaven and in earth will also come to fruition, just as He said (go check out Revelation 21:5!). So, do we sit around with our eyes tightly shut and our families sheltered in our homes “hunkered down” until God’s Kingdom comes? Once again, God’s Word has a timely answer. Just as the women and the rest of the first Christians were told to go quickly to tell others that Jesus has risen from the dead, so we are to be urgent, intentional and obedient with the simple task given to us by our Saving God – go tell it on a mountain…or in your neighborhood or in those parts of town we’re tempted to avoid because of issue X, Y or Z.
Finally, we go quickly to share God’s Hope in the Risen Christ with great joy! This is not some “put a smile on your face for Jesus” façade. This is the “hey fellow humanity in this crazy, chaotic and broken world, let me share with you why I have great joy and real hope when we’re all asking ‘where is our world headed?’”
As Christians, it’s tempting to “calm down” and go back to our routine of slipping on a robe of apathy toward the world in our Life After Easter. May this never be! May we never abandon our neighbors especially since God never abandoned us and gave us hope that never ends on the first Easter morning.
May we apply the teaching of Matthew 28:1-10 in how we continue to go quickly and tell the whole world about the God who is doing great things just as He said He would in His Spoken, Written and Incarnate Word! Come to think of it…this sounds awfully familiar to our Resurrection Lutheran Church & School mission to Love, Equip, Share. Coincidence? Nope. Christ is risen from the dead for us, but not just for us!
Where is our world headed? By God’s grace and through His Holy Spirit, may we Christians be about the task of having the world run into the Risen Christ, so they receive hope and great joy from Jesus. This is how we live in great joy even as we pray, Come LORD Jesus Come, Amen!