Thriving Devotional - April 13, 2020

Be Alert!

I almost started to write, “With Easter behind us…” out of habit.

But truly, Easter isn’t behind us; it’s around us.

On my walk this morning, listening to Daily Audio Bible, I heard an insight I’ve never thought of before. It’s about Jesus’ admonitions to keep watch for his appearing, like in Mark 13:32-33:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.

We are accustomed (or, I should say, I am accustomed) to hearing these passages in apocalyptic tones. And that makes sense. But what if we can also hear these calls to readiness in light of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances? If Jesus is risen, then his appearing is possible anywhere, anytime. Consider Jesus showing up among the gathered disciples, catching them off guard (John 20:26), or the surprise of Jesus cooking breakfast on the shore of the lake (John 21).

And if it was possible for Jesus to show up anywhere and anytime in the days following his resurrection, how much more should we be watchful and alert to how he comes to us today by his Spirit? I have to admit, “watchful and alert” aren’t often the words that describe my spiritual posture. But why not?

I think it begins with reclaiming the belief that Jesus does indeed come to us, in countless ways. He’s risen, after all! The curtain that was torn in the Temple (Matt. 27:51) means that we have access in, but also that the Holy is on the loose!

He initiates the connection, if only we have the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it. He asks us to seek him, but only to discover that he is also actively seeking us. In our engagement with Scripture, in worship, in our Sabbath-keeping (even in bits and pieces), in disruptions and frustrations, in conversations and observations, in the little things that spark our thoughts and move our hearts. That’s the way he operates.

Are we alert?

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