On this second day of the Easter season, we read the opening verses of First John, a letter sent to a congregation of the early church. For this early community, the Easter news is actually new. The Resurrection is a fairly recent event. They are still giddy with surprise and joy. The intensity of the writing conveys the newness of the Resurrection; the knowledge of so many senses—eyes and ears and hands—is named, for life’s revelation is complete! The tomb is empty! Christ is risen!
This joy of the early church echoes our own. The good news has not yet grown old for the author of First John; the good news remains fresh in our hearts and minds today. We too are giddy with the surprise and joy of the Resurrection, which comes new to us each year. We still breathe in the heady aroma of Easter lilies, still hear the glorious harmonies of the Hallelujah chorus, still feel the joy of family and friends who assemble for worship and good food. All our senses are alight with the knowledge of Easter, for “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.”
Today Easter is still urgent for us, but as society and the world around us change out the chocolates for the trappings of the next holiday, we can easily lose that urgency and knowledge of the Easter news. Yet the good news is always good, and the good news is always new. Christ is risen! Our every sense declares this with complete and abundant joy.
What urgent good news calls out to you in the present moments of your life? Where and how has Christ risen in your life this day, this week, this month?
Loving God, help me hear the good news through all the clamor. May I see even the smallest way that Christ rises to greet me. Amen.
Easter promises us the possibility of new life in Christ, but what should that life look like? Scripture makes clear that one sign of union with God is unity with each other. How wonderful it is, the psalmist says, when there is peace among brothers and sisters. Unity and peace do not mean simply the lack of conflict but proactive care for one another. The Christians in Acts lived out this care in a practical way by giving of their material means to help one another. John in his epistle tells us that this fellowship with one another is ultimately modeled on the fellowship we share with God and Christ, while in his Gospel, John teaches that belief in Jesus the Messiah is what binds us all together in this new life.
• Read Acts 4:32-35. In what ways have you experienced the generosity of community?
• Read Psalm 133. How and where do you experience the wild, extravagant love of God?
• Read 1 John 1:1–2:2. How do you keep ever before you the urgency and joy of Easter?
• Read John 20:19-31. What fears keep you locked away from the world?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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