Though it's still only Good Friday, this afternoon, as it's a quiet day, I've been preparing an After Easter Devotional for the fellowship group of our local church. It's partly bits from the internet re-arranged to suit the group of women who will be there on Wednesday. My music colleague will be leading a program on church music as well, mainly about contemporary writers such as Shirley Murray and Colin Gibson from New Zealand and Robin Mann from Adelaide.
AN AFTER-EASTER DEVOTIONAL
After the hubbub and splendor of Easter, it's time to be reminded that Jesus lives in the everyday and to invite other people into a quiet recognition of Jesus' ongoing presence in their lives.
A somber meal on Maundy Thursday, tears on Good Friday, triumphant majesty on Easter-now what do we do? That's probably what the disciples were thinking. Quiet, a little lonely, a little apprehensive, a little determined.
But Jesus says, "I am with you always."
That means alongside us when we face the dentist, when we are apprehensive about medical tests, when we lose our life partner, when we have fears for our security, when we lose our temper, when we are cut up by regrets, when we are tactless and say the wrong thing, when our little dog dies, when we feel other people look past us and don’t even see us, when someone we love snaps at us…
Jesus did say “I am with you always.’ Alongside.
Two men walking to Emmaus were kept from recognizing Jesus. The Bible doesn't say if this was some supernatural thing or whether Jesus simply covered his head with his cloak. They certainly wouldn't have been expecting him to show up and walk with them. Jesus was right there next to them and they didn't see him. Sometimes we do the same thing.
When the blind were made to see... Jesus was there. When the broken stood and walked... Jesus was there. When the wandering found a path to follow.. Jesus was there. When Mary and the women went to the tomb... Jesus was there. When the apostles gathered in the room... Jesus was there. When the disciples walked along the road... Jesus was there. When the disciples tried to return to their jobs... Jesus was there. When Thomas doubted... Jesus was there. When Paul was knocked off his horse... Jesus was there.
You see the Easter message was never intended to be a one Sunday a year event ! Rather we are to live out the message of the good news that Jesus was indeed crucified, buried and He rose again on the third day with all power and glory.
We are called:
1. To Live out the messages we hear.
2. We are to Share stories and listen to other people’s stories.
3. We are to Practice what we are hearing.
4. We are to Invite our friends and loved ones back - as if we were having Easter every Sunday!
5. We are to Speak up for those who are treated unfairly.
6. We are to Work for a just society where there is respect, honesty, nurturing and compassion.
So this week and the next and the next continue living out every week as if it were Easter.