Jesus beseeches you: Say ‘Yes, Lord, Yes’
Easter people raise your voices for Jesus Christ is alive! Yes, friends and neighbors we stand in the presence of a living God who gave his son so we might live. When they buried him in the grave, the grave could not hold him! He is risen from the dead, Alleulia!!!!
This good news we celebrated and remembered a couple weeks. It is a yearly celebration in the life of the Christian Church around the world. Easter was an event of resurrection nearly 2,000 years ago; today, it is a celebration, a reminder and opportunity to experience the new life Jesus came to offer.
My hope is we remember that we are Easter people. We are not a people of a day; we are people who for 2,000 years are transformed by the awakening of resurrection power. Easter people raise your voices for Jesus Christ is alive today as he was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.
These last two weeks are full of stories where we hear the disciples’ stories of when they saw Jesus. There is Thomas who upon seeing Jesus declared “My Lord and My God.” There are the friends on the road to Emmaus and saw Jesus in the breaking of the bread. There is Peter and his friends who while out fishing are called to cast their nets on the other side. These appearance stories give us an opportunity to think of how we are seeing Jesus today.
The final chapter of the Gospel of John (John 21) ends with a challenging story where Peter has his three denials of Jesus prior to the crucifixion met with an opportunity to love and serve Jesus post resurrection. Jesus asks Peter to love and feed his sheep.
Such request does not come lightly. Whether it is a literal interpretation that Jesus wanted Peter to feed sheep like a neighbor asking you to feed her animals while on vacation or a greater commitment to feed and love all those who follow Jesus with the teaching, love, grace, and mercy that leads to kingdom living — Peter is asked not once, not twice, but three times to commit his life to love and service of Jesus’ sheep.
We too are being asked to commit to loving and feeding Jesus sheep. We too are being asked to repent of our denials of the living Jesus and carry his love to the unloved. We too are being asked to feed those who are starving for a new way of living.
Our community is ripped by ungodly actions that divide and harm. Jesus calls us to love and feed the problem with grace, mercy and love. Our community is rapidly changing as the world offers us new opportunities for connection and relationship. Jesus calls us to love and feed his sheep of all ages in whatever way we can to reach them for Our Heavenly Father. Our community sees continued growth in poverty. Jesus calls us to love and feed his sheep so the stomachs can be fed and the minds can be taught to fish.
Easter people, raise your voices and continue to give witness to the living God. The appearance stories of Jesus are still being seen and written. All we need to do is love and feed his sheep.
“ ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“Then the King will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’ ” — Matthew 25:37-40 (Common English Bible)