matterofprayer blog post for Monday, April 21, 2014
What About the Day Afterwards?
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
I suspect this was heard—and said—in countless churches around the world this past weekend. These words are the time-tested, traditional call-and-response manner of greeting on Easter Sunday.
The Lenten time of preparation before Easter is now past. This time of fasting, meditation and prayer is being observed more than ever. I might even say that Lenten observance is becoming more in fashion. (Not to be callous or flippant, but I have observed that tendency over the recent years.) And that’s a good thing!
Of course, Holy Week has been a high point for centuries, regardless of liturgy or non-liturgical observance. And Easter? Praise God, this is what everyone has been waiting for! Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death. He is risen! Alleluia! The Easter celebration is truly the high point of the entire Church Year.
My question remains, though. What about the day afterwards? What about the next forty days? Jesus did not immediately go up to heaven. No, He was here on earth for forty days until His ascension. I’m sure He met with His disciples, and told them some really fascinating things. And these conversations—which we do not have on record—must have been significant.
I happened to read a pertinent article this morning online, by Ray Hollenbach. There was one quote from the article I found riveting: “I’d love to get the podcast of everything Jesus taught in those 40 days [after Easter], but it hasn’t shown up on iTunes yet.” Isn’t it the truth? Gosh, I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall in Mary and Martha’s house, or in the apartment where the disciples were staying!
I guess there is a reason why the New Testament is silent (for the most part) about the risen Jesus and His conversations during that waiting time. I don’t quite know what it is, but there must be a reason. Lord Jesus, what I do know is that we have a lot of information about You and Your love for us. And, we have a great deal of information about how to share Your love with others. So—I guess I need to do exactly that. I even have my marching orders from You.
Without any more ado, we ought to get down to prayer. Dear Lord, thank You for the reality of Easter. Thank You for loving us. You died for us. And we need to tell others about You and Your great love for everyone. Forgive me for shying away from those marching orders. Enable me—enable us to go forth and share the Good News about You! Thanks again! Amen.
(also published at www.matterofprayer.net Shortlink:
Thanks and Praise, and Psalm 119
Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, October 16, 2017
Thanks and Praise, and Psalm 119
Dietrich Bonhoeffer certainly has a way of coming straight to the point. In this series of meditations and commentary on the beginnings of Psalm 119, he does not pull punches. Regarding 119:7 –
I will thank You with an unfeigned heart,
when I have learned Your righteous judgments.
Bonhoeffer begins, “How could one begin to give thanks to God and not concern oneself with His Word? What kind of thanks would be to receive the gifts but refuse the required obedience to the giver?”  How, indeed?
As Pastor Dietrich insists, we need to be immersed in the study of the divine Word. It is only in this way that we begin to understand what God wishes, how best to walk in God’s ways, and how to treat others as God would treat them.
It is after we have learned (or, are continuing to learn) God’s righteous judgments that we can come to God in thanksgiving. However, Bonhoeffer is quick to point out that “the thanksgiving of the world refers always to the self…. By giving thanks, one gains the satisfaction of feeling that the gifts received are now one’s rightful possession.”  How wrong-headed! What a way to self-inflate and self-delude.
Instead, we are to give thanks to God because we want to learn and know the things God has for us to do, and the ways in which God wants us to walk. Yes, we are still learning. Hopefully, you and I will continue to learn until life’s end. What a continuing road that is laid out, the road God has planned for us, aiding us to experience the righteousness God intends for each of us.
Dear God, thank You for the directions You have put in Your Word. Help me—help us to follow You more nearly and love You more dearly through regular study of the Bible. As Pastor Dietrich instructs us, help us to immerse ourselves in Your Word. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind. #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er
 Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000, 110.
 Ibid, 111.
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