1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
The Gospel of John begins with these amazing words about the life and ministry of Jesus. As we emerge from an amazing Holy Week and Easter celebration, it is important to remember that Jesus came into this world, suffered, died and was resurrected in order that we might be given “the right to become children of God.” It is a remarkable gift that changes everything. It is not just a promise that we get to go to heaven, but a promise that even now has made our lives different. As children of God we are given an extraordinary life, full of peace and joy. Living into this life is our command and privilege.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed on the week after Easter. I felt the presence of God in such a powerful way this past Sunday (and throughout Holy Week) that I am left with questions: what now? How do I take the powerful experience of God into a new week? How do I build upon the spiritually charged experience of last week? How can I live more fully into my faith in Jesus?
I can imagine that the disciples had similar questions. What they experienced was unexpected but in such a good way, they must have wondered what was next for them. The Bible tells us that Jesus appeared to them over the next forty days. I am sure there was many questions asked of Jesus but I am sure the disciples tried to internalize all of those experiences. As He taught them, they must have had hearts ready to explode in their chests. Jesus was alive. He was the messiah, the Christ, God’s anointed one.
Those days would draw to a close. At His ascension, Jesus commanded his disciples to go, wait and pray. When the day of Pentecost happened, they experienced power from high as the Holy Spirit descended upon them. The Church was born and their ministry was given to them. Go therefore, Jesus said, and make disciples baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey all I have commanded.
We are descendants of those first witnesses of the resurrection. God has empowered us with His Holy Spirit to live into the Great Commission. We do not have to ask: what now? Our task is simple. We are to go and tell what we have seen. The great love that we have experienced is to be shared to all. Easter is not over. It has only begun. Let us recommit ourselves to live fully into Jesus’ commands. Let COTHA be a place where people “Come, Connect, Grow and Go.” Jesus is alive!