Thoughts on Matthew 28:8-15
The Mary’s went to the tomb, just to be at the place where the one they loved lay buried. The shock of an earthquake, the fright of an angel descending, the power of the rolled stone, the awe of an empty tomb, the hope of their loved one’s resurrection being true, the job of passing the message on to the other disciples, no wonder they quickly departed with fear and great joy.
They obeyed and you met them. There’s a lesson here for me. When given a word or a work to accomplish by the Holy Spirit, I am to set to the task. The work will arouse fear and joy within me, as any God-given assignment should. Fear because the work is beyond me, I will need to depend upon you to get it done. Joy because I get to do it! You’ve chosen me to be your hands and mouth, what a privilege.
I’ve found this principle true regardless of the size of the task. I’m a city mouse transplanted to the country and the idea of planting a garden ignites great fear and insecurity within me; I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, I could do it all wrong.
I am called to capture your work with my words, again fear and insecurity; I don’t have anything worth saying, it’s all been said before by much more eloquent and wise people.
In both situations joy emerges as I obey. The delight in clearing a space of weeds, so daffodils can emerge; the satisfaction that comes from pushing the publish button on my blog; all I’m responsible for is to do as I’ve been asked, the fruit is your job. My garden and my heart are transformed through such obedience. I remind myself that joy is a fruit of the spirit, it cannot be manufactured, only grown. Tend your garden, dear Jesus.
You met the Mary’s with the words, “Do not be afraid.” My fear at the assignment is legitimate, but not necessary. When doing what you’ve asked of me, in partnership with you, there is no need for fear. I cannot fail, I cannot be defeated, I will not be shamed. I can confidently go about the business I’ve been given. Heck, you turned death into victory. It is not beyond your ability to transform my attempts at weeding and writing into things of beauty and truth. So be it.
Thank you and amen.