Transitioning from fear to joy

“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” (Matthew 28:10)

Recently, I was reading the account of the two Marys as they were told that Jesus had been raised from the dead. How does Matthew describe what was mixing within their hearts as they ran to tell the disciples the wondrous news? They were “afraid yet filled with joy.”

Does that describe how you and I navigate many of our days? We have this deep sense of Christ’s presence in our lives that fills us with an irrefutable peace. Yet, contrasted with that is a fear that at times can immobilize us to the point of desperation and resignation.

How can this be? I think what was happening to the women can give us insight into these conflicting realities.

They were facing a moment in their lives when utter dejection was meeting indescribable wonder. They expected to find death and what they were introduced to was the promise of new life. Keep in mind, they had not actually seen Jesus but were beginning to sense that what He said was going to happen indeed had happened. We know these moments too well — the lingering doubts of our pessimism are confronted with the resurrection power of God who is only limited by Himself.

The moment that moved the women toward an unalterable recognition of the miraculous is found in the next verse: “Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.” You see, it was at this moment that they went from ones who had heard the story to ones who were now part of the story.

It is my prayer that all of us are found enjoying lives that in the light of the empty tomb are not dominated by fear but are defined by joy…a joy that can only be know through ongoing encounters with the Son of God.

Grace and peace.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)