Get Ahead of It!
Someone once said that Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses. The late American columnist and editor Doug Larson is credited with saying, “Bad news travels fast. Good news takes the scenic route.”
When the news is bad, and I mean bad, i.e., global health and racism pandemics, scripture gives us reason to have courage and faith, while exercising our responsible action.
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear.
Psalm 112:6-8 (NIV)
The words of the Psalm remind us of God’s love and care as we struggle in the tension of faith, which sometimes includes bad news, with all its doubts and questions, and yes, at times, fears.
Now imagine those early disciples with whom Jesus spoke talk and traveled. Imagine all they learned as they listened to him, traveled the dusty roads of Palestine, and mingled with the crowds which contained sick and desperate people. They heard the words of life and salvation and witnessed healing miracles of every kind imaginable. By the time, Jesus embarked on the Holy Week leg of the journey, the disciples believed that he could do anything, almost. You see his entrance into Jerusalem was the good news for which they hoped, a glorious, logical next Appointment.
When he began to say strange things following the Passover meal in the upper room, and later was arrested, his disciples, (especially Judas and Peter), realized that things had gone horribly wrong and that they had played an inglorious role in the tragedy. By Friday morning, it became apparent that what they’d thought about his power and the power of his love, had more of a self-sacrificial quality to it than anything they had imagined. Because of this, they thought his crucifixion was a bad news story and this was the story they believed.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. This sounds like bad news.” So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Sounds like more bad news.
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
John outran Peter. Simon Peter went into the tomb followed by John where they both saw that the body of Jesus was no longer there.
Did you only tell the news about the entrance to the tomb or the absence of the body, or have you received the entire story this morning? Get ahead of the news, failures and despair, that seek to hold you back!
May the full story of the resurrected Savior be re-confirmed in our hearts and in our lives this day! Easter Joy!
Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin
Interim Co-District Superintendent
Gulf Central District