Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | May 9, 2014

The Strong Word May 2014

When the joy and shock of Easter Day was over for the early disciples of Jesus their lives seem strangely ordinary. They go home (see the Road to Emmaus in Luke 24) or go fishing (see John 21). The enormity of what had happened through the death and resurrection of Jesus had not sunk in or taken hold in their lives.

Yet from time to time before the Ascension, 40 days after Easter Day, Jesus makes brief appearances to offer encouragement, teaching and advice. But he only appeared briefly, no more the lingering meals, long walks or teaching sessions.

They must have all felt very alone, and even vulnerable. Maybe we feel the same in 2014? The celebrations of Christmas and Easter are well past now, and Jesus and his message of Love and Grace can seem to be a million miles away.

Perhaps we feel that we are in a sort of desert or wilderness. Perhaps we feel like this for various reasons, life is not as we expected, our health is limiting us, opportunities to improve our circumstances are few. Maybe we know bereavement and loss.

Let us remember it was in the desert, as the Israelites moved painfully slowly towards the Promised Land that The Lord blessed with water out of rock, Manna to eat, as well as guidance and protection in the face of enemies. It only appeared to be a desert, God was there to help and bless as he was with the disciples after Easter. Jesus did appear, he did encourage, he did provide, just think about all those fish as he indicated from the shore after a night of failure to catch a fish. (John 21)

Maybe we do feel in a barren place. A number of church friends lately have told me of their difficulties. They have also spoken of prayers prayed and of patience in waiting for an answer. Then, answers have come and situations have changed often the right people or chances have come into lives at the right time.

This can be the reality for us too. God is with us. The resurrection of Jesus and the presence of his spirit mean that life can be anything but ordinary and that we can taste and see that the Lord is good. May the reality of the presence of Jesus be true for each of us.

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