Apr. 26, 2012
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
I’ve never been called to jury duty. I think it would be interesting and educational to serve. Early in our marriage, Rick’s name was drawn at the county level. For a month, he called in once a week to see if he had to report. One day, he had to report and sat on a jury. As he shared his experience, I conjured up what serving on a jury would be like.
When Jesus appears in the Upper Room, it is like the disciples are the jury and Jesus is desperately trying to proof he is really alive. This time, they do not believe because of their grief. This time, because of joy and utter amazement they stand in disbelief.
Lawyers often use shock and awe to impress juries. Jesus does the same, when he asks to eat a piece of fish. I find it interesting the author tells us Jesus ate broiled fish. Apparently, the fine art of Wisconsin fish fries had not been perfected in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Oh, yah, that’s right. It’s because of Jesus’ death on a Friday that the Friday night fish fry was developed and has become a mainstay on menus all over Wisconsin. We can thank our Catholic brothers and sisters for this.
Once again, Jesus says the recent events shouldn’t shock them. He has fulfilled everything foretold. He tried to help them understand before hand. Either they didn’t want to hear or chose not to listen.
It’s been over two weeks since we’ve celebrated Easter. By now, the chocolate bunnies and robin eggs have been eaten. The colored eggs have turned into egg salad or been thrown away. We have quickly returned to our pre-Easter cycle of activities. Today, we are the jury. Do we believe Jesus is alive? Do we experience with joy and amazement the risen and living Christ every day?
Too often we want to be shocked and awed. We expect “big” events to shape our Christian journey. But it’s the daily things we do that really guide us. It’s what we do day in and day out that makes the difference in how we view our risen Savior.
I share these words not as a person who has perfected my spiritual journey, but as one who struggles every day. I seldom feel I have had adequate quiet time with God. I pray every day before I roll out of bed and ask for God’s guidance with every decision I will make, only to forget this request 23 minutes into my day.
Too often, we are a jury that demands proof beyond a shadow of a doubt. We fail to see the proof often right before our eyes. Rather, we want a pastor or a spiritual leader to convince us of the need for a spiritual journey and then give us a Top 10 checklist for how to do it. When we fail to do #1 or #2 from the checklist, we do not want to be held accountable. I know because I put myself in this group of challenged Christians.
Joy and excitement. Let’s go find some today. Let’s be awed by where and how we can see the risen Savior in action today.
Let us pray: In all the world around me I see His loving care. And though my heart grows weary, I never will despair. I know that He is leading through all the story blast. The day of His appearing will come at last. He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart. Amen.