After His suffering, He presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
Each Easter, I look forward to sunrise service where we declare He has risen! I pray each year I would experience Christ alive and risen, in a way that I haven’t before. So why am I surprised that in the two weeks since Easter 2018 I have seen Jesus everywhere?
The Sunday after Easter, after the 11am service at The Gathering, a young boy expressed to his parents that he had Jesus in his heart and wanted to be baptized. I assisted Jared Lathem with the baptism, which was a real blessing to me because I had met the mom several years ago as she was searching for a church home. Another baptism that same afternoon in a hospital room across town, while family and friends witnessed, a man gave his heart and life to Jesus! He is alive and active in the lives of people and at Mt Bethel.
Just two days later I was speaking with a staff member whose friend had experienced a sudden and tragic death. I was expressing my support and offering to help as she ministered to her friend. A few minutes later, a lady who had overheard part of our conversation came over to my coworker and shared that she had faced a similar situation. She offered words of encouragement and support. It really moved my co-worker that someone would take the time to speak with her and offer such kind words of support to her. Christ is risen and ministering to His flock.
Three days later, I witnessed students sharing about their mission experience on the spring break mission trips to Puerto Rico, Belize, and Romania. In each account Jesus was present and active, breaking the barriers of language, inspiring compassion to take action, and moving students into prayer and deep expressions of worship. Jesus is with us wherever we go!
But there’s more. This week a lost friend asked for prayer and I prayed Jesus would pour out mercy and grace for my friend and bring restoration; a debt was paid anonymously to assist someone in need; around 2000 gathered to celebrate the life of Grace Bunke and support her family with love; the eyesight of a young girl improved despite what the doctors said to expect; an undiagnosed pain that could not be identified by multiple tests or doctors resolved when a medication was discontinued; and more baptisms on the second Sunday after Easter, two children and three adults. Yes, Jesus is risen. He is alive and moving in the lives of people and inviting them to come to know Him for the first time and to grow deeper in their faith! Have you seen Jesus?
Lord, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you! I want to know you as my Risen Savior, active in my life and in the world. Encourage me as I see your presence with us, and inspire me to share the good news that Jesus is ALIVE! Amen.