Right Here, Right Now

In a powerful episode in his ministry, Jesus met a grieving woman on her way to the cemetery.  She certainly had every reason to grieve.  First, her husband had died, and then her only son!  “What’s the use”, she must have wondered.  Life seemed to have lost all purpose and meaning.  Roll the stone against the door and write, “The End: It’s all over. I’ve called it quits. I’ve tossed in the towel.”  But God has a way of moving stones, just as He did with that big one which blocked the door to Jesus’ grave.

He replaced the woman’s cries of anguish with shouts of joy.  Remember that when you are sure the end has come, the burden is too big, the battle is over, the enemy has prevailed. God acted mightily through Jesus for the woman: “When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion.  ‘Don’t cry!’ he said.  Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. ‘Young man,’ he said, ‘I tell you, get up.’  Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk!  And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” (Luke 7:13-15)

The joy we are given from this event is that the mighty thing that happened was not just a single isolated revival, but a pledge and promise of things to come.  The Lord Jesus showed himself to be the powerful ray of light which announced and assured the dawn of the glad day of resurrection.  Remember Jesus said of himself, “I am the resurrection and the life.” In his Easter triumph over the tomb, the resurrection of all believers has been assured.

“Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” The crowd’s reaction was quite appropriate.  With joy and thanksgiving they shouted, “God has visited his people!”  They realized that in Jesus, God was active, He was there.

God was not only there—He is here! Don’t think that Jesus has gone back to the Father and left us alone to suffer and die.  He is right here, in the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who makes us more than conquerors over every trial and suffering and loss.  He is right here in others who comfort, console and encourage.  He is right here every time water is poured on the head of those being baptized.  He is right here in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.  He is right here even and especially at the time of death for our loved ones and for us.

Let us respond with the joy and thanksgiving that comes with the knowledge that he is right here.  God has and continues to visit His people and give them new life.  So it was for the woman in the Gospel episode, so it is for us!

Spreading, Serving and Sharing with You,

Pastor Carl