23rd April 2017
With fear and great joy
Has there ever been one event in your life that has filled you with both fear and joy?
How does a new mother feel after she has given birth and the new child is placed in her arms, does she feel a great sense of joy at the new birth? Does she also feel a sense of fear at the responsibility she now has for the child's future?
In the days after Jesus crucifixion, many people acted out of fear. Some of Jesus' disciples hid in the upper room, while other disciples like Mary Magdalene and a couple other women decided to wait and watch and head to the tomb at the first opportunity after the sabbath. The chief priests convinced Pilate to place guards at the tomb. Such was the fear that prevailed.
But then the miraculous occurred and Mary and the other women who had been watching and waiting were filled with great fear and great joy at the one event.
8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matthew 28:8)
Fear can be debilitating, it has the potential to eat at our very souls.
Joy is bursting with hopefulness, it does not debilitate, it offers the promise of something good. Fear has negative connotations and joy has positive connotations.
So how does it feel to be filled with both fear and joy at the same time? How do you walk with the negative and the positive? But that is exactly how we live isn't it? I say that we live our lives with a measure of fear and joy everyday. The good news for Mary and the others, was that their joy surmounted their fear. The Good News, the Gospel.
If we focus on the resurrection and understand what Jesus did for us we might just find the kind of joy that conquers fear. As Christians we have to remember to enjoy Jesus. We need to hold on to the joy that is new life. While we need to be aware of those negative things in our lives, our focus should be squarely on the joys we see and experience. May we know and experience joy this Easter season and always.
Revd. Mark Robinson