Ready or Not

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19 
Easter began in the dark. The sun had not come up and the news was not known. I like to imagine the ripple effect of the word getting out and wonder what everyone’s responses were. Was anyone nearby just waking up and heard the stone roll away? Perhaps the sound of feet running past and anxious voices caught someone’s attention as they started their day? We know that the world was in the dark about this epic event. We know from John’s gospel that Mary Magdalene was sent to tell the disciples of her encounter with Jesus. I’m sure they wondered why he chose to appear to her and not to them. I’m confident they did not know what to do about it any of what they had seen or heard. When Jesus does appear among the disciples, they aren’t ready. The sun is going down, the door is locked in fear and they are wrapped in all kinds of darkness.  
It’s hard to trust God when you feel you’re in the dark. These early faithful followers had a lot to process what with an empty tomb and Mary Magdalene’s news of having seen Jesus. I’m guessing they were desperately interested and yet deeply uncertain. Jesus had risen from the dead and this was the moment their faith could shine in fullness. They weren’t ready. In the midst of their fears and despite a locked door, Jesus shows up in the darkness greeting them with his peace. What a breath-taking moment! I wouldn’t be able to say anything. How about you? Are you ready to trust that Jesus can show up in the shadows of your life too? Jesus still operates in the same way. He shows up. There is no darkness that can keep Jesus out. Invite him to scatter away your doubts and fears and he will, with his life-giving presence and peace. Get ready!

God Saves

Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:8-9 

When God speaks, we should listen. God spoke through Isaiah long ago, reminding us of who God is and what God does on our behalf.  

God wipes away all tears. 
God removes iniquity and disgrace.  
God speaks. 
God saves.  

People had been waiting for so long for God to bring salvation: saving power from oppression, fear, sin, and hopelessness. Perhaps we still wait for these things today. Perhaps, in our own contexts now we are confronted with the reality of a continued need for God’s saving presence. So this scripture from Isaiah still speaks truth to us today. Let us listen to God and wait for God in the midst of any and all oppression, fear, sin, and hopelessness. Why? Because God saves. 

Posted by Josh Miles
Tags: devotion

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