November 01, 2011

From Fear to Joy to Call

John 20:19-23

The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord… Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:20-21


Sunday evening. Locked doors. Terrified disciples. Jesus had been killed, but was reported to be alive again. How could the disciples possibly absorb what was happening?

Suddenly Jesus appears. He’s alive! Hearts thrill to see Jesus’ comforting look of love. Fear is replaced by exuberant joy.

Then Jesus calls his disciples to join him in his mission of love for the world. This is a daunting challenge. Only those who really experience the love of the living, risen Lord will be able to respond to his call.

What terrifies you? Finances? Political unrest in the world? Today Jesus invites you to look at him and to see how much he loves you. Today he calls you to join in his mission. Would you like to experience the full extent of his love? Will you surrender your fears to Jesus? He invites you to receive him, to get to know him, and to start the relationship of a lifetime.

Then you too will experience the overwhelming joy of hearing him say, “Peace be with you,” and “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

As Jesus invites you to begin this journey, you’ll find you can’t do it on your own. But Christ’s Spirit is there to help you. Ask, and he will answer.

Lord, we are weak and fearful. We cannot find our way to you on our own. Help us today to respond to your call and to follow you, by your Spirit’s strength, in your mission of love. Amen.

About the author — Allen & Lynn Likkel

Revs. Allen and Lynn Likkel have worked in communities across North America for many years—planting churches, nurturing them along, and developing new church leaders. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Allen served with Christian Reformed Home Missions for nearly 40 years, and Lynn, also ordained as a minister of the Word, has served to build leaders and new congregations. In November 2010, Allen entered retirement, and the Likkels moved to Washington, their native state. They have four adult children.

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