“Go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples…Matthew 28:7-8
I have so much to share right now that I am seriously at a loss as to where to begin! So – as the grandchildren have been featured a lot lately – I will begin with church. WFPC is such a solid, vibrant, positive faith community, and I want everyone to understand what is possible when our common focus is the Good News, and when we faithfully, humbly, encourage one another to follow Jesus.
It may be hyperbole to say this, but I am not the only person who thought Sunday’s message was one of the most powerful they had heard. Rebekah always preaches from her heart, and that has been abundantly true during this final series of sermons leading into retirement.
This week it was The Resurrection, looking not at an empty tomb but following a risen Savior. “Jesus is going ahead of you,” the angel told the women. And our task, Rebekah pointed out, is to meet Jesus where he is inviting us to go.
There is a sense in which we often miss the reach, the scope, the impossible to contain scale of The Resurrection, Rebekah said. When we limit our understanding of resurrection to a particular event in history we cannot begin to embrace the promise of transformation. Christ’s resurrection was very much a recalibration of not just history but eternity – not just the God/man Jesus but our lives and possibilities too. When we grasp this, when we truly understand what was at stake – what is at stake – then we also understand that anything is possible.
Urgency and action!
There is a sense of urgency for us to be engaged with this potential, to be on the move – always following Jesus. And as the disciples moved in that direction, the Matthew passage tells us, they were “afraid yet filled with joy.”
Everything important, life-changing, challenging, and transformational, Rebekah said, comes with these conflicting emotions. A new baby? We are scared silly and overjoyed. Getting married? Anxious, afraid, overwhelmed with joy and anticipation. Watching our newly adult child pack up and leave home? Fearful that they – or we – are not ready, and at the same time so proud and joyful at the possibilities they are ready to engage.
This is the same for us, as Rebekah and I face retirement. There are so many unknowns. Yet we are excited about the promise of a new definition for life, and we trust God as we rest in the providential love of a Creator who holds us in the palm of his hand.
Watch as much of this worship service as you would like, but do not miss the message (it begins here, at the 20:00 mark).
The crackle of electricity:
People are still coming back, by now pretty much matching normal attendance patterns in this “almost but not quite post-Covid” summer. An added bonus this week was the presence of our grandchildren.
And the spirit here – the sense of belief, and purpose, and positive momentum – crackles like a kind of electricity in the air.
Resurrection! It is not fixed in history nor consigned to myth or memory; it is the reality of today and the promise of tomorrow! – DEREK