Today’s Reading: John 16:16-22
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.” (John 16:20a)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The season of Easter is a time of celebration. We look back at the resurrection of Christ while looking forward to His glorious return and our resurrection. All around us in our worship life we see and hear the song of the saints going forth boldly. The white on the altar, the lingering smell of the lilies, the joyful banners that adorn our sanctuaries all remind us of what has taken place and what will take place.
Our struggle is the now. Right now, in this world and in this life, we wrestle with all that the world throws at us. We are reminded daily of the consequences of sin in our lives. Fathers still provoke their children to anger. Children still disobey their parents. Pornography and sexual immorality still abound and tempt us. Bullies still bully. Addiction still controls our lives or the lives of others we know. Siblings still manipulate each other. Death still kills us.
After the death of Christ, His disciples and followers were “holed up” in a room with the doors locked. They were lamenting His death. Their hope of being freed from Roman tyranny did not come to fruition. The world around the disciples rejoiced in the death of Christ. It seemed as if God’s plan had been thwarted. While we weep and lament in the chaos of sin, the world rejoices in that chaos as God is removed from our lives. The world thrives on chaos.
In the middle of the chaos is order. God prevails now. You are baptized and in that Baptism you are connected to the death of Christ. The connection of your Baptism does not end at the crucifixion. You are also connected to His resurrection. As Christ walked from the tomb, so also will you walk from your grave. You struggle through this life, rejoicing in the knowledge that death does not prevail. Your faith holds fast to the promise that Christ has died and Christ has conquered death. In Christ, you rejoice in His resurrection as that is also your resurrection. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, You show those in error the light of Your truth so that they may return to the way of righteousness. Grant faithfulness to all who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s Church that they may avoid whatever is contrary to their confession and follow all such things as are pleasing to You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter)
-Rev. Timothy Davis is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens, GA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.