Through the "lens" of the story of Jesus we are able to see ourselves truthfully and call things by their proper names. Only through the story of the cross of Christ do we see the utter depth and seriousness of our sin. Only through this story that combines cross and resurrection do we see the utter resourcefulness and love of a God who is determined to save sinners (Romans 3:21-25).”
― William H. Willimon, United Methodists Bishop (The Best of William H. Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus' Name)
There is something about the resurrection that we celebrate each year through Eastertide that is more than looking back and commemorating a historical event as it contains the proclamation, “He IS risen.” The resurrection is an ever present shared reality and it is in that sharing that we find the essence of our discipleship.
Remember it was Jesus, himself who said, “I am resurrection and the life,” (John 11:25)and it was the likes of Peter who declared, “our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)
The resurrection teaching of Jesus, implicitly raises the a question that seems to ask, “Do you believe that I am the resurrection and the life?” In the long run nothing is more important than my answer to this. “I cannot grasp your words in my imagination, Lord, but I believe. Help my unbelief.”
As you are entering into the mysteries of the Resurrection this Easter season, we can know that God is present at all times in our lives. Invite the Lord in your home, invite him in your Zoom conferences, invite him on your brave trip to the grocery store. He wants to share his life with you, and all you need to do is respond to his call.
We may not always recognise his presence; we may even feel alone. But we can be confident that he is here. ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? … If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me’ (Psalm 139:7-10).
Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of "practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end." He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence.
Dear Lord, show us how to live in a place where we are aware of our constant communion with You. As Your children we humbly come before You. Thank You that we get to rest under the shelter of Your wings, here in the secret place of Your presence. We praise You, and we worship You. Amen