What is our attitude today?

4/22/2012

Easter has passed. For one more year, we celebrated Resurrection of Jesus. We sang, "Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph o’er His foe. He arose victorious from the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign.”
 That was yesterday. Where are we and what is our attitude today?
 Yesterday we remembered how the stone was rolled away from the tomb and Jesus, who died just a couple of days before, was alive again.
 As we joined in worship Easter Sunday, we listened to the story of the Resurrection of Jesus that has been told for more than 20 centuries. We are among the multitudes of people who have believed what the angel said to the women when they came to Jesus’ grave early on that Sunday morning: “He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said.” We remembered that account and celebrated that fact.
 That was yesterday. Where are we and what is our attitude today?
 On the morning of Jesus’ resurrection when Mary Magdalene discovered that the tomb was open, she went to tell Peter and one of the other disciples. When they heard the news they ran to the tomb and found it empty just as they had been told. After seeing the evidence, they believed and then went back home.
Later that day Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had had seen and talked with Jesus. She related the entire conversation between her and Jesus.
You would think that Jesus’ closest followers would have been ecstatic over this news. The one whom they had loved and revered was not dead; he was alive! On the contrary, the next report is that they were fearful and had gathered together and locked all the doors in the house.
 We recently celebrated the Resurrection. Where are we and what is our attitude today?
One can easily understand how fear could prevail over those early disciples. They did not have the benefit of looking through the lenses of centuries of history. They had seen their leader cruelly mocked and brutally slain. Would they be next? Was their life in danger?
We have the advantage of reflection. We can look back and see the effect of the Crucifixion and Resurrection on humankind. We know from experience that Jesus is alive. He said that although he was returning to his Father in heaven, he would always be with us. Max Lucado said one indication of God’s love for us is that he could have chosen any place to live, but he has chosen to reside in our hearts.
In his Rule of 1221, St. Francis told the friars not to preach unless they had the proper permission to do so. Then he added, "Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds." That is probably what inspired someone to coin the phrase, "Preach the gospel at all time. Use words if necessary."
 Jesus said, "I was dead, but now I am alive again. Because I live, you shall live also."
 Easter Sunday has passed for 2012 but for the followers of the Risen Christ every day is a new beginning--a resurrection. May our live witness to that reality--in word and deed.
 Jamie Jenkins is Executive Assistant to the Bishop. You can contact him at
jjenkins@ngumc.org


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