Friday, July 29, 2016

Do Not Be Afraid

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28:1-10 

When I worked in a daycare center during college, the children loved to be read a certain book. It's repeating line was, "don't be scared!" They would shout it along with the reader every time it came around. The story was about the things that scare children - the dark, monsters under the bed, strange loud noises - and the parent in the story shed light on all the child's fears. We are easily fearful, in these tumultuous days, but there is always light to be shed and love to spread.

The women, deep in mourning, bent with grief, come to the tomb. To make matters worse the ground shakes and they are surrounded with light. Despite all the fearful things they held their ground and stayed to hear an angel tell them amazing news. All the fear and finality that surrounded them was shrugged off in mere seconds. Their sorrow turned to joy. And God reminds us today, when fear surrounds us and folks seemed armed for violence and destruction, fear will be shrugged off again by the power of God's love.

Today I ask God to help me hold my ground and wait to the turning. May we all be courageous in tumultuous times, knowing God has more goodness and blessings for us than we can see in the darkest moments.

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