Daily Devotion - Monday, April 11, 2016
Have you ever had a dream that you were flying and it seemed so real and amazing that when you woke up, it felt like your spirit had fallen back into your body with a thud? I've actually convinced myself that the jarring sensation I felt was caused because I must have been hovering over the bed or something.
There's a split second in that moment where I find myself feeling an intense amount of disappointment as reality takes over and I find that I am completely incapable of flight. The jolt of being burdened once again with the constraints of my physical body is a complete letdown.
It's incredibly disillusioning to get a glimpse, a taste of what it could be like if I was able to trip the light fantastic on the wings of the wind, only to then find myself stuck in my slightly overweight, middle-aged, gravity-enslaved self.
But what if you woke up from a dream about flying, and then discovered that you could actually fly? How amazing would that be, right?
I was thinking the other day about the letdown that the disciples of Jesus must have felt after he died. They had glimpsed what the world could be like when the kingdom of God came to earth and was as it is "in heaven." They'd seen incredible miracles, and even had the chance to perform miracles on their own. But then it all ended.
That first jolt back to reality must have been horribly hard. Which is why they reacted in fear, and then eventually resignation. It's what prompted many of them to doubt even when confronted with the reality of Jesus' resurrection. It didn't take long, however, for Jesus' followers to let the power of his resurrection sink in, and it changed them forever.
The Apostle Paul wrote about the witnesses to the Resurrection:
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
What the disciples finally understood was that all of the things that Jesus did during his ministry (the miracles, the signs and wonders, the incredible teachings of truth and beauty) were just a taste of the Resurrection life that God has in store for all of Creation. The story of God's restorative, redemptive rescue mission didn't end with Jesus ascending into heaven in the book of Acts--not by a long shot.
The signs and wonders are all around us, the miracles, the truth and beauty---they are all part of a Resurrection life that is made new every day. By our very transformation we are made witnesses to the Resurrection along with the disciples and apostles. It's like we woke up from a dream about flying, and discovered we can actually fly.
May you live into the hope of the Resurrection today. May you be a witness for the risen Christ by speaking grace and peace, miraculously lifting up what is good and pure and sharing the signs and wonders of the story of your life with anyone who will listen. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.