“Jesus said to her, do not cling to me, for you have to go to work
Mary immediately let go of Jesus, and the joy of Easter left her. Her mind became filled with plans for dinner later that day. Getting the kids in bed, because they had school in the morning. She wondered: Should I make their lunches tonight, or should I make them in the morning?
“Go and tell my disciples to continue their routines. I have risen. So it’s cool now.”
Do you ever have a holiday come and go when you never really had a chance to get excited for it? All of a sudden, everything is “back to normal” when you feel like you never really left normal.
It’s hard for me to get in the mood for Christmas or Easter because of all the planning that goes into it. I know it might be that way for you as well. For me there are all the pastoral duties that come with these high feast days in the church year, but the bulk of the work is getting the list done on the family side. By the time the big holidays come and go, I am... actually, my wife is worn out.
Maybe we ought to make a decision for ourselves and our families. Maybe we can decide to not let stress, busyness, or holiday numbness continue to have the victory. After all, the victory does not come and go based on how we feel. It is ours forever because of what God has done for us in Christ. Remember that popular verse from Romans 8? “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Truth is not always felt, but it is always real.
Take a Moment
Take a moment for a little bit of discipleship today. You are in the middle of your week. So it means that your children are in the middle of theirs. They won’t see you coming. Tell them Christ has risen, and stare at them until they say: “He has risen indeed! Alleluia” Ask them what they thought about Easter, and what they will remember most. Start something new like planting a flower or taking routine walks with your kids. Point out every new thing you see and share how these are all reminders of the new life we have in Christ and the new heavens and the new earth he has in store for us.
Christ has risen! (Type the appropriate Lutheran response in the comments below.)
It is interesting how we look back through history to find the exact moment that something significant and world-changing happened. There is no clearer example of this than that fateful evening Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg.
God had been building these ideas in Luther for some time before this seminal moment.
Luther was going to become a lawyer, but he was literally thrown off course. He found himself in the middle of a life-threatening lightning storm in 1505. He prayed: “Help me St. Ann! I will become a monk!” He kept his word, and became a monk upon surviving the storm.
In 1510, he visited Rome and saw first-hand the corruption that had run rampant throughout the Catholic Church.
Afterwards, he lectured on books of the Bible as a professor at Wittenberg. He had made his way through Romans and Galatians where he said things like this:
A couple weeks ago, both of our daughters had trouble going to sleep. Tracie and I were watching Monday Night Football when they both came out and complained: “We can’t sleep.” (Insomnia is apparently contagious.) We had already sent them back to bed a few times that evening so we decided to have them lay down in the living room while we watched football.
They were both awake as the game was just beginning. Sometime before or after the national anthem there was a moment of silence for the victims of the massacre in Las Vegas. Tracie and I both looked at each and waited for the inevitable question to be asked. There was a tense silence for a few minutes.
And … nothing happened. Whew!Neither of us were ready at that moment to answer questions about the nature of life and death from a pair of frightened and confused children.
Last night was a bit scary. We felt our house shake a couple times as the wind ripped through North Georgia! Things seemed to have calmed down, but there are many places without power. This means that many places are closed- especially school!
Today I am working from home. I don’t mean to brag, but we are fortunate to have both power and WiFi. Maybe you are at home today too, and if you are, this is a great opportunity to spend time with the kids! Below I want to offer some thoughts on how to take advantage of this break from the routine, and spend some time with family in prayer and devotion. Perhaps, God gives us these interruptions so that we can do just that.
1) Read God’s Covenant with Noah in Genesis 9:1-17 (You can look over Genesis 6-8 for background) and Jesus Walking on Water in Mark 6:45-52 together. Depending upon your children’s age you can read these stories from either a children’s bible or a normal bible. This is a great time to talk about how even in the midst of a terrifying storm like the one we just had; God does not forget his promises or his people.
2) Spend some time in prayer giving thanks for the many who were kept safe. Also, pray for anything else that might be going on in school or other activities.
3) Have your children draw their favorite bible story or act out everyone’s favorite story together as a family.
4) Rest. No explanation needed here.
5) Play! Break out the play-do, Legos, board games, cards, watercolor, etc.
What ideas do you have for an unexpected day with your kids? Comment below!
God’s blessings on this wonderful-unusual day. I pray that you and your family grow together in faith and love for Christ today and every day.
P. S. It is not too late to join Tracie and I in our 7-Day devotional challenge! Today is day three. Check it out here!https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/4157-parenting-under-pressure