April 17

Luke 24:36b-43

“They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?’” vss. 37-38

According to the stories that Luke had investigated, the disciples were not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead. At first they dismissed the women’s report of an empty tomb as an idle tale, but Peter’s verification of the story got them thinking. And when Jesus showed up in their midst, they were terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. We can understand! We too have heard the stories–every Easter one or another version is read at our worship services. But we still wonder if it could possibly be true, and often doubts fill our hearts. But even if we’re not frightened, we keep on believing that this story is true, because in some strange and crazy way, it all makes sense. The universe itself proclaims in countless ways that life follows death, and that the grave is not the end of the story. All we have to do is look at our yards and the annual cycle of dying and rising that takes place with our flowers and trees. Why should we imagine that it’s any different with us? Every religion testifies to the triumph of life–Paul said it well, “Not even death can separate us from the love of God!” And besides all that, Jesus keeps on showing up! He is the embodiment of love and grace, and comes regularly to walk with us in our helter-skelter lives. Christ is risen indeed!

Thought for the Day: What kind of doubts have I had about Easter?

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