Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 25, 2020
I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. John 14:18
Over the years, I’ve been blessed to celebrate Easter in great cathedrals with choirs singing angelic songs, and I’ve spent it in contemporary churches filled with joy, energy and excitement. Yet this year, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus as an immediate family, isolated from the broader family of God and the joy of worshipping together as his people. As I continue to reflect upon what was unquestionably the most unique Easter Sunday I’ve ever celebrated, I find Jesus’ words in John 14 to be an incredible source of comfort and hope: “I will come to you.”
While the power and fruit of the resurrection can never be exhausted, and we should celebrate Christ’s victory in every way, I am especially grateful this Easter season of the fact that Christ is with us. Easter is the end of our isolation. As Jesus defeats sin and death, he welcomes us from exile into restored relationship. And in an age of quarantine and pandemic, this is especially good news that we need to hear!
The hope of Easter is not an abstract idea but a lived encounter with our living Lord. The reason we can be filled with Easter joy, even in the midst of great challenge, is that you and I are never truly alone. Jesus has defeated every enemy that keeps us in isolation and desolation! This is true of our immediate enemies, such as the Coronavirus, yet it is cosmically true as well, freeing us from the power of sin and the curse of death.
If you feel tempted to rush past Easter and move on to the “next thing,” I would encourage you to instead stay in a place of hopeful anticipation. Easter is not a single day that comes and goes once a year but is instead an inexhaustible source of inspiration and transformation. It is for us as Christians the very breath that we breathe, the life of God within us. And so today, cling to that hope, and where you feel lost, alienated, or alone, remember the promises of God that extend to every time and every place: “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.”
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Father, thank you for the gift of your presence, that you are with us no matter where we are or what we may be going through. Help us to rest in your love and trust that you are good and seek our good, now and always, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Slowly and prayerfully read today the whole of John 14, inviting the Lord to remind you through his word that you are seen, loved, and always safe as a member of his kingdom.
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
Jesus has defeated every enemy that keeps us in isolation and desolation! #Christwithus #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus
8 minute video: Tasha Cobbs Leonard:
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