Today’s Daily Devotion is written by Steve Sveom.
Joe was a church member with a family, who had become involved in his church, even assuming some leadership positions. From most people, he was able to disguise his chemical dependency well. He functioned at a good job with significant responsibility and from the outside, life with his family seemed good. Yet, he came to admit that he had become powerless over alcohol. He began to attend AA meetings and his life perspective changed. He told me at one time that he guessed that I had preached the same gospel before he began to deal with his alcoholism, but he hadn’t heard it the way he did after. His eyes had opened. The gospel spoke to him in new ways.
The friends of Jesus hadn’t really figured out what the death of Jesus meant. Was it the end of their hopes and expectations? Jesus joined them as they walked and helped to provide perspective by using Moses and the prophets to highlight God’s love to help them see Jesus through those eyes. They weren’t sure what to make of the witness of some women who reported an empty tomb and a vision of angels declaring that Jesus was alive. And then, when they invited Jesus to join them for a meal, he suddenly became their host, blessing and breaking the bread. Their eyes were opened, they saw the risen Jesus and their hearts burned. Even as he vanished, his ongoing presence was palpable. Their eyes were opened and their perspective changed.
During this year, our perspective has been challenged. When we meet grief or defeat, we are challenged. But we are also challenged when our eyes are opened to the presence of Jesus in the word of scripture; or the gift of Christ in the Lord’s supper; or the everyday simple gifts of food and shelter, love and hope. May our hearts burn with the grace of God at work in our world and in our lives.
Let us pray:
God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.