Meditation Monday: After Easter

Easter

Every Easter we are faced with the image of an empty tomb. Unlike the disciples we do not get the benefit of eating with the resurrected Jesus or the reassurance from putting our fingers in His wounds.

That is why the gospel that tells us of an empty tomb can speak to us powerfully even today.

In Mark’s gospel we are left with an empty tomb, a reminder and good news!

Going into the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right side; and they were startled. But he said to them, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised. He isn’t here. Look, here’s the place where they laid him. Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” Overcome with terror and dread, they fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. Mark 16: 5-8 (CEB)

Jesus has not remained in Jerusalem. He has gone ahead to Galilee and He waits for his disciples and us there. Why has He gone back to where His ministry began? Wanting us to follow in His footsteps He has gone back to the beginning so that we might start there with our own ministry.

The resurrection is not only the reward but it is the opening of our hearts and minds to the ministry we only knew in part as we traveled with Jesus. In Mark, the disciples are constantly trying to figure out what Jesus is doing with His preaching and His actions. Now they must do. As we do now.

What will be our reaction? Will we be like those who flee without telling anyone where Jesus is as well as not joining Him ourselves? Now let’s return to the start of this devotion and now read the story as ours and a template of what we should be doing in our ministries now that Easter is over.

It is the day after Easter and Jesus waits for us in Galilee at the beginning of the journey. What is our choice?

Holy God, we thank You for supplying us with a place in Your Word. You have called us to do extraordinary feats, but You have not left us alone in doing them. Thank you for showing us the Way. Amen.

Meditation Monday: Holy Week

Holy Week

In the gospel of Mark, the seven days of Holy Week are full of intrigue and suspense, political theater and cover operations. The path to the resurrection is not a simple one. It is sought after and prepared for by Jesus and His disciples. It is executed with stealth at times and cunning at other times.

Everything Jesus does during Holy Week points Him in the direction of the cross. Yet he does not hesitate to teach, call out, condemn and prophesize on matters that anger the power elites and amaze those who hear Him.

Mark’s Jesus drives the money changers out of the temple. He teaches against the leading religious authorities. Under cover of darkness he participates in the Passover meal transforming it into a remembrance of him.

Only once does he waver on his path in the place called Gethsemane. Yet still in the end, He fulfills God’s plan.

What will we do this Holy Week? Do we have a path to the resurrection? Are we remaining true to it? Are we being deliberate about it as Jesus was to His? If not, how can we try to do so?

Dear God show us Your path to our resurrection. We know that along the way we may pass through the cross, but we are faithful to believe that You are there with us through Jesus Christ. Amen.

1 Doughnut, Numerous Savings

Doughnuts

 

What would you do to keep the doughnuts in your church every Sunday? When the finance committee had to cut the church’s doughnuts, Monte Chamberlin had seen enough budget cuts to last a life time. When the committee adjourned, Monte set out to save the cherished Sunday morning doughnuts—which served as a time of fellowship, sharing and caring. What he found was a way to leverage a coalition of churches to buy 200,000 doughnuts annually and reduce the church’s total expenses. Because of a doughnut, Monte founded Cost Stewardship, a company that finds abandoned or unknown refunds available from government agencies and utility providers.

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