From Fear to Joy
June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
Retelling the Easter story of Jesus’ first appearance to His disciples after His resurrection (John 20:19-23) is like living into the truth of our own lives. It is a story of transformation that provides the key to the power of the Easter reality in our lives. The power of Jesus’ resurrection lies in God’s ability to turn death into life, or in the case of Jesus’ disciples, transforming a fearful room into a joyful one (20:19-20). Jesus does not come into our lives to make it more difficult than what it already is. As He did when He spoke his first words in the midst of the disciples, His presence brings peace. God’s new life in and through Jesus’ resurrection is the ever-present reality of God showing up in our lives to surprise us with newness in the midst of stuckness. God brings peace and joy in the midst of fear and anxiety. But the story does not end there. The transformation from fear to joy effected by the peace of new life in and through Jesus leads to a completely different purpose in life. It is a transformational power that moves us into the world for the sake of bringing new life to others. In the words of Jesus, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you… If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” (20:21, 23). The key verse between the previous two verses provide the crucial link for understanding God’s sending and our calling in the light of God’s power alone: “… he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit'” (20:22). May the Easter power of Jesus’ resurrection move you forward on the holy gusts of the Spirit and into the lives of others to bring peace, hope, and newness!