Jesus is Alive!

Yesterday, we celebrated and rejoiced in the truth the Jesus Christ has been resurrected from the dead and still lives. This is a key teaching and cornerstone to the Christian Faith. It was a great time in worship. How do you celebrate the Risen Lord? What brought you to a place of belief?
When we read about the resurrection in the Gospel of John (John 20:1-18), we first see Mary Magdeline go to the empty tomb, then the disciples John and Peter. What I find interesting is each one of them had a different reaction when approaching the empty tomb:

  • Mary made a snap judgement someone stole the body of Jesus just by seeing the stone had been rolled away
  • John knelt down and glanced in, noticing the grave cloths and finally entered and believed
  • Peter pushed his way in and began investigatin the scene

None of these reactions are wrong, they are just different. But these also show us how we react to people and news today. It is easier to make a quick judgement and decision without ever trying to figure out the entire story. Adults teach this to children; yet we, as adults, still make snap/quick judgements on people, news, circumstances, etc. without ever trying to figure out the whole truth of what happened, what was said. There are others who get quick snippets of the situation and come to their own conclusions, whether or not it is the whole truth. Then, there are those who take time to investigate and try to understand wholeheartedly.

I believe it is important to have all of these traits and reactions. We should quickly look to see what happened. Then we should glance in to get more information. Finally, we should investigate and examine what is presented to get to the core of the truth.

One of my favorite stories about Mother Teresa is when she teaches someone searching for her about trust versus clarity.

 “John Kavanaugh, the noted and famous ethicist, went to Calcutta, he was seeking Mother Teresa … and more. He went for three months to work at “the house of the dying” to find out how best he could spend the rest of his life.

When he met Mother Teresa, he asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she replied. He then uttered the request he had carried thousands of miles: “Clarity. Pray that I have clarity.”
“No,” Mother Teresa answered, “I will not do that.” When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh said that she always seemed to have clarity, the very kind of clarity he was looking for, Mother Teresa laughed and said: “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”

Jesus asks us to follow and trust Him through our life journey. Because He is risen and alive, He is with us (Matthew 28:20). The question asked of the congregation yesterday was, “Do you believe this?”

I hope and pray you do. Jesus is alive! Alleluia!

Sermon “Do You Believe” (Easter Sunday 2016) http://youtu.be/uUNE5o3gvWM

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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