I have lost loved ones, as we all have. This was different. He was the hope of the nation. He was the promised one. He was carried away, ridiculed, beaten and died a criminal’s death. To say his followers were devastated is such an understatement. They were lost and grief stricken. Hopeless.Until they understood....
The absence of Jesus then and the absence of Him now are equally devastating to a follower. The difference now is that He does not leave us. We do distance ourselves from Him. Sometimes to the point that we don’t even look like a follower. I’ve been there. It is lonely, devastating and almost unbearable. Can you relate? But when we understand that the joy He promises is eternal,that He waits for us to come to Him for the first time, and to return to Him when we stray, we have hope. Maybe you haven’t been to church in a while. Maybe you’ve been hurt by the institution. Maybe you, like myself and the early followers of Jesus misunderstood God’s promises. Things didn’t turn out like I thought they would. I have let distance get between me and God because of that..... Those were some lonely roads to walk. I am grateful that He never let me stray so far I couldn’t return. He had me…and He has you.
Let me assure you that Jesus is waiting for you to return. The church is not a building. It is not dynamic Sunday sermons. It is not a once a week production. Church is people…people who are sick and need saving. People who need love and who love one another. People who gather together to worship in small groups, even in homes. Church is the bride of Christ. He desires for all to come to Him now and into His kingdom for eternity. Come as you are. Receive His grace and forgiveness. Experience true joy now and forever.
If you are in a Friday funk, believe that Sunday is coming! Praise the Risen Lord!
John 16:20-22 (NIV)
20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.