Sunday, 27 April 2014

Pots of Joy - Luke 24

Easter encapsulates the full range of emotions. For example see things from the viewpoint of Mary (mother of Jesus) - the pain and anguish of seeing her son killed, the confusion of his claims seeming to have come to nothing. Then she is met with an awesome sight on the Sunday morning, finding the tomb without the body yet a radiant angel telling her 'He is not dead, but alive!'. With tears of confusion and yet joy she tries to tell the others that Jesus is alive.

Our culture offers us many things or experiences that claim to give us joy. What in reality brings absolute joy? Is it that bigger house, the new car, the promotion?

The irony in the gospels is that the reality of Jesus being alive was right there in front of them, yet at first they completely missed it! Jesus stood in front of the Mary Magdalene, walked with the pair on the Emmaus road and then stood in a room among the disciples.

Yet when the reality hit the over-riding emotion for all of them is joy. Not a momentary joy, not something that they just consumed and was then gone - but a joy that would last.

The Emmaus road pair realised that their 'hearts burned with joy' because Jesus had been with them. Thats a joy that their hearts could pump through their veins, filling their whole being so that whatever bad times may come (and they surely did) they could now respond differently, bearing the joy of the risen Lord.

Many since have had the same experience - Wesley famously wrote in his journal that his 'heart was strangely warmed'. This is not a consumer experience, but a life-changing lasting reality.

We become infectious when we let that over-spill. Who needs a script when we are simply filled head to toe so it just oozes out of us? Our current key question and challenge are:

[OUT] How can you share the story of Jesus' death & resurrection with others?
Key Challenge: Use the Try Praying booklet and then give it away

 If the reality of Jesus being alive has been injected into our hearts, if the indescribable joy that goes with this truth is flowing through our veins, then we should find ourselves naturally shining, able to tell the story, and encourage others to meet the risen Lord for themselves.

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