[Willow Creek Association] 2020-04-18 - After Easter Morning

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I am going to be paraphrasing Luke 24 heavily, but I encourage you to read it after this. Let the words pour over you with a fresh point of view.

After Easter morning, the followers of Jesus are huddled in a house. Only a few are venturing out, but most are hunkered down. There is uncertainty about the circumstances outside. There is fear of death, if they leave the refuge of their home. Only a few like Thomas, who maybe left searching for toilet paper - and Cleopas and his companion that took off for Emmaus - have dared to venture out.

AND THEN JESUS APPEARS. His first words are "Peace be with you". They're freaking out - startled and frightened - so he asks, "Why are you afraid? The death outside. That has no power. Look at me. TOUCH ME !

He is here today, saying the same thing he said to those followers. The same thing he told Israel thru the prophet Isaiah, many years before that.

Isaiah 41:10-13 (NIV)
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

Don't fear COVID-19. Now, Jesus did not challenge his followers to run to the Romans or even the powerful Jewish leaders right off. In the rest of this chapter, he led them away from danger - out of the city. We do not need to be stupid about this virus - but we can be at peace, and we can follow Jesus.

Let us see him resurrected, then let us be led out by him to see him ascended to his throne in heaven. Let's return to the words of Isaiah – well Isaiah 6:1-4 sort of. In the year that Covid-19 thrived, I saw the Lord, high and lifted up, sitting on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were angels, each with six wings: With two wings, they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were crying out: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the earth is full of his glory."

Prayer: King Jesus, you are in control. You are good, inherently good. It is your nature. I believe your word. I believe every word that was inspired by you and recorded by men over the years, from Moses and Job to the revelation recorded by John. I know that you make all things, even pandemic kinds of things, work together for good for those that love you. Help us to see the good in this. Help us seize the opportunity to share you powerfully with other, like never before. Help us to be bold, as if nothing else mattered, because surely nothing matters more. You are Life. May we cling to you - the rock that never moves in uncertain times. God, I lift those reading up to you right now. Pour a double portion of your spirit down on them. In this madness, help them to be still, just to be still, and to know that you are God. Thank you, king Jesus, for your sovereignty over all things. Thank you for your omniscience that knew this was coming. Thank you for your omnipresence that can comfort us all. Thank you for your omnipotence that can power thru all things. Amen!

Share the faith, when others are spreading fear. Be light when the world is in its darkest days. You can give hope of the good news, when the news only offers heartaches in bad news.

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[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted. - - - - - - -

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