“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Matthew 28: 17 (NIV)
There is a habit of behaving that comes from a time of pain and sorrow. There is a pattern of fear, a constant belief that things will collapse.
Continue reading “Easter Monday: Grace for the Doubter”
When we have been through a trial and something has gone wrong, there is often a lingering sense of distrust. We are always on the look out for the next bad thing.
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.Matt 28: 8-10 (NIV)
Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.
The women in this passage were both, “afraid yet filled with joy”. This passage demonstrates how it is possible to have a turn around in your circumstances and still be fearful that it isn’t real.
Continue reading “Easter Sunday: Grace for the Fearful”
This phrase perfectly describes the sense of unbelief that you receive when things turn out unexpectedly for good. Even though the women have been greeted by Jesus. Even though they recognised him and touched him, clasping his feet. Yet, they are still fearful. So much so that he felt the need to reassure them and says to them, “Don’t be afraid”.
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered, “Go make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.Matt 27:65-66 (NIV)
This is the day after the death. Jesus has been placed in the tomb, and Pilate and the Pharisees were afraid that there would be a deception carried out by Jesus’ disciples. So they made sure that the tomb was as secure as possible. There is a stone, and a seal, and a guard. Pilate ensured that this tomb was not penetrable.
Maybe you have experienced a death. It may have been a physical death, or it may have been death of a dream, or a hope, or a desire.
Continue reading “Easter Saturday: Grace for the Entombed”
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice “Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.Matthew 27:46 (NIV)
These words pierce me every time I read them. They are words wrung from the deep places of the soul. Words that come from the depths of pain and anguish.
He had been betrayed by one of his close friends. One of the men who was in his inner circle had denied him. Those who had shouted his name in triumph just days before, now called for him to be crucified.
He was in the dark, he was crying out, he was betrayed, he was abandoned and he was in pain.
He knows what it is to be forsaken.
Continue reading “Good Friday: Grace for the Forsaken”
At the end of the year it can be easy to start focusing on the year to come. 2019 is only a few days away, after all, and it seems wise to start planning and thinking about what is to come.
Especially, if you are in a time of waiting. It can be easier to forget about the year that has passed in pain and waiting, and instead focus on believing and hoping again for the year ahead.
Yet this hope and belief is grounded in a knowledge of the one who holds your hopes and dreams, ‘in the waiting’. And it is good to remind yourself of the faithfulness of the one who holds you.
Continue reading “In the waiting: Do not forget his great faithfulness”
When the angel first appears to Mary her first reaction is not joy! In fact, one version of the account in Luke says she was “greatly troubled” and another says she was “thoroughly shaken.”
The angel has to reassure her and tell her “not to be afraid.”
In fact, the reaction from Mary followed this pattern: fear, questions, and then acceptance.
Continue reading “In the Waiting: Find strength in joy”