April 1 – “Now What?”
Like the followers of Jesus immediately following his death, I have felt the overwhelming grief of loss a few times in my life. You probably have too, and if not yet, you will.
Death and loss is part of life, and no one escapes it.
All loss is not the same.Â Losing a loved one to death is not the same as losing your job or moving to a new location. But all loss is painful – even when it is necessary, or for a greater good.
For some, the biggest losses have been the loss of dream. I would put myself in that category, how about you?
Competitive athletes fall into this category. I like to watch sports, and you can see the disappointment on the face of the elite athlete who dedicates years of training for the purpose of winning some ultimate prize, only to fall short of the big dream.
So close and yet so far.
It hurts to lose. Yet, I’m a shameless idealist, and hopefully will remain one as long as I have breath.
In my life journey so far I have gained and lost several “dreams”:
â€¢Â Â Â my dream business in the music industry where I did meaningful work that supported many musicians and singers
â€¢Â Â Â my dream recording studio where we could do full tracking and mix sessions at the highest level
â€¢Â Â Â our beautiful 4000 sf dream home we designed and built on 15 secluded acres in Brentwood
â€¢Â Â Â and later, my “dream job” at our beloved church of 26 years
Make your own list of losses that have impacted you. What emotions do you feel?
â€¢Â Â Â Shock.
â€¢Â Â Â Grief.
â€¢Â Â Â Despair.
â€¢Â Â Â Dreams crushed.
â€¢Â Â Â All hope gone.
Death is the ultimate ending. Game over. You’re done.
Whatever the loss, the emotions are similar.
It’s not hard to imagine the overwhelming sense of loss those friends of Jesus felt on that Resurrection Sunday.
But then a miracle happened. Jesus showed up, alive and empowered.
“Peace I give you”
What is peace ? Peace is harmony, tranquility, security, and freedom from fear. It means the end of strife and contention. Peace is good, and it is for peace that the human spirit is designed.
The peace of God is what our souls long for. This was the first gift Jesus gave his grieving disciples. And this is the gift He gives you and me in our moments of despair. Peace is healing for the wounded soul.
He give us beauty for ashes, and joy for mourning. (Isaiah 61:3)
“As the the Father sent Me, I am now sending you.”
Jesus next words give hope for a meaningful future. “I am sending you” You and I have a mission,Â to be sent as Jesus was sent. Jesus was sent to bring healing and reconciliation , to establish the Kingdom of God. This is the mission he gives to us, to be his representatives in this natural world.
“He breathed on them. Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus had supernatural power. He now bestows that source of power on his followers. When we receive the Holy Spirit, our lives are in agreement with His truth.
“Christ in me, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:26
“I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
By receiving the Holy Spirit, we are empowered as disciples of Jesus (andÂ sons and daughters of God!) to carry on the mission of the gospel.
I invite you to pray this prayer.
“Father, thank you for the gift of your peace. Now I receive the gift of Your Holy Spirit. I desire to be sent as Jesus was sent, to bring glory to your name. Amen.”
According to the historical church calendar, the Easter season is the 50 day period from Resurrection Sunday to Pentecost Sunday.Â Iâ€™ll post a fresh devotional thought with my sunrise photo of that morning, everyday through Pentecost, commenting as the Spirit inspires. Check out the rest of the series here.
I’d love to walk through this with you. Will you join me?
Would you like more devotionals like this?Â