AE: After Easter

 
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So how long does it take to finish off that Easter candy in your house? I am not going to tell you how quickly it disappears around here! Unfortunately, about now (a week later) the candy is gone, the return to school/work is looming ahead, we are left feeling exhausted from the effects of a sugar crash, and nothing quite fits the way it did before. 

That first Sunday after the crucifixion, nothing was right. Their expectations had crashed, their hopes were dashed, they were facing a bleak and unknown future. How could they just return to life before Jesus? Nothing quite fit anymore.

Sometimes we can feel that way about our faith can't we? We know something significant has occurred; our old life doesn't quite fit anymore but we aren't sure what things are supposed to look like now. Here is the good news. Jesus didn't leave the disciples there.  He met them on the road and walked with them.  Even before they realized it was Him!! There are so many times in my life where I can look back and see Jesus walking with me before I realized it was Him! It might have been a friendship which grew apart or a house sale fallen through. Perhaps it was an unexpected job offer or a small as a timely phone call. Now I can look back and see God was in the details all along. And once we realize it is God's hand what then? Well, we follow the examples of the disciples; we run back to Jerusalem! 

They ran back to the other disciples, the other people who loved Jesus too!  I love this! Because this is just one more example of how God puts us in community with other believers. When they arrive they find that Jesus has appeared to others of the believers as well. Their story of faith comes beside others' individual stories and creates a beautiful witness to those in the room who haven't yet seen the risen Christ. And then the greatest miracle of all occurs, while they are gathered together, sharing their stories . . . . Jesus is standing among them.

So I want to encourage you to find those other believers!  Find that group where you can share your story and be encouraged by thiers. Not just because it is good for us (and it is good for us)! But because it is good for others as well. You see there are a lot of people out there who don't have the hope of Easter.  A lot of people who are walking this road of life alone. We come together as believers because we are stronger together, we can grow deeper together, and just like Christ then commanded those disciples in that little room, we can go out and tell others.  Steve reminded us  at the Voorhees Campus, that while faith is deeply personal it was never meant to be private.  Let's embrace his challenge to, "Go! Get out and tell your story!" I can't wait to hear what God is going to do through you!

-Heather Mandala

 
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