Confession 181: One Week Later

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”….A week later, his disciples were in the house again… John 20:19-22, 26

 It’s been one week since Easter Sunday.  One week since the church was full of people smiling, laughing, embracing and singing.  One week since the pews overflowed and the balcony door was thrown open.  One week since the “hallelujahs” and “amens” filled the air and we celebrated God’s victory over the grave.  One week…a lot can change.  On Easter Sunday we celebrate our salvation, we commemorate our freedom from a life of sin and death.  On Easter Sunday we take hope in transformation, both of ourselves and the world through the love of Christ.   On Easter Sunday, we BELIEVE.  Yet, as my husband asked the congregation in his sermon this morning, “Where are you today?”  Where are you one week later?  Do you still believe?

Look carefully at the Scripture passage above.  On the first day of the week, the disciples had a transforming encounter with the risen Christ.  They had been given the gift of the Holy Spirit and were commissioned to go forth and continue the work Jesus began.  They were excited, they celebrated, they BELIEVED!!  Yet, one week later… Do you see it?  One week later the disciples were locked in the house again!!  They had SEEN Jesus, they had TOUCHED Jesus, they had IMBIBED the Holy Spirit and they still didn’t believe enough to LEAVE!!  The disciples were stuck in the muck of their fear and despair.  The chains were broken but they couldn’t bring themselves to open the door and step outside.  A world was waiting, and they were hiding out.  Praise God they didn’t stay stuck in that room forever.  Jesus came back (he always comes back) and sent them forth once again.  But we do the same thing, don’t we? 

For some of us, we find ourselves longing for the freedom Christ brings but are too afraid to step out of ourselves to claim it.  For others of us, we profess to believe in the transforming love of God but fail to take that love out to a world in need.  We leave the miracle of the Resurrection behind us in the sanctuary until next Easter rolls around.  Yet when we do that, we miss the entire point of the story.  Christ didn’t live, he LIVES.  HE LIVES!!  It is now up to us, his disciples, to act like it.

Blessings and Peace,

2 thoughts on “Confession 181: One Week Later

  1. Aurie says:

    So true!! It is sad how quickly we can get stuck by fear of the unknown. So sad – when we really have nothing to fear!

  2. Angie Vik says:

    Good thought-provoking insights. Our church was full to over-flowing on Easter Sunday. 208 attended on Easter, 96 one week later. I know a lot of people had family visiting, but it still amazes me how people are motivated to go to church on Easter but not the other weeks. I had a Facebook friend share that the lent season is 40 days long with only one day of celebration. He wanted to change that and have 40 days of celebration. Every day he's been posting ways Christ's death and resurrection has impacted his life.

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