How Do We Begin the Season of Joy?

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:8  

The Season of Easter is a season of joy, celebration, and happiness at the news of the empty tomb and the resurrected Savior.  That is the way it should be!  Yet, the way we experience life rarely is it completely this way.  As we see the response to the Resurrection in the Bible, it is often mixed with other, and sometimes conflicting emotions.  Such as the passage above: fear and great joy. 

Joy is a mark of God’s Spirit dwelling in our hearts.  Also, we see fear there too.  Christ’s victory over the grave and death does not mean that now our lives are worry free.  Jesus is very clear to his disciples, “in this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  Life, even following the Resurrected Son of God, is one of struggle, conflict, painful times, rejection, and confusion.

 As we struggle with ourselves, we must admit that our desires to do better often go awry.  We are frustrated with how incomplete our love can be expressed.  When we stand for the just cause, we are rejected even by those we are trying to help.  The presence of these things does not exclude joy in our experience of follow the Resurrected one.
Then our confession is that the season of joy begins sometimes with fear, confusion, struggle, and pain.  We do not deny the reality of life, but we grasp a greater reality that puts it all in order.  The reality of the empty tomb and meeting the living Son of God. 

Pastor Greg