Saturday, 18 April 2015

“They were startled and terrified” how to find the Risen Christ

Fear is paralysing, it can be likened to a mental fog that leaves us unable to move forward. There is a discription of fear that speaks of an ocean liner:
If an ocean liner could think and feel, it would never leave its dock; it would be afraid of the thousands of huge waves it would encounter. It would fear all of its dangers at once, even though it had to meet them only one wave at a time.

Fear is not just in the mind, indeed there has been some research done on the connection between heart disease and memory loss, the latter being a sympton of heart problems. so fear affects our hearts and minds.

the disciples hearts were pounding – they were startled
the disiples minds went numb – they were terrified
the disiples were all at sea and it was if they were enveloped in a fog of confusion, terror and fear.

I don’t know the last time you had to drive in fog, but if you have then you will know that it is often advised that one should dip ones headlights, not turn them off completely, but reduce their power in order to see better.

It may sound counter intutitive, it stands to reason that to see better then there needs to be more light,  but with less light it is possible to see better when caught in fog.

There are always time in our life when it is as if we are in the midst of a heavy fog.

People who suffer from depression will know the feeling of the world that seems to fold in on them, wrapping them in a blanket shutting out the light and warmth generated by others leaving them in the darkness of depression, alone and afraid they sink into the dark hole of despair.

Less severe is the experience of confusion and lack of perspective that comes about in our life when we become confused and cannot see clearly. It is an experience that is not dissimilar to that of a person driving in heavy fog. A time when because of grief or uncertainly we cannot see a way out of a particular circumstance. When the familiar landscape is transformed into a world of shadowy figures and half seen dangers. We are left alone searching for the way out, searching for the light to guide us out of the fog of our confusion.

The disciples were in a fog  - more profound than the sort created by the early mist of the morning that will be burnt away by the light and warmth of the sun.

Their Fog was caused by their fear and loss, they were in the grip of despair caused by grief, they were plagued by doubt – how can the dead walk…unless they are a ghost.

It is into this fog of grief and uncertainly that the risen Christ steps and provides the light by which they can leave the fear and uncertainty behind and go out into the world holding the light of Christ to the darkness of the world and offering the reality of their faith before the despair and confusion of the world.

So what are we to learn from this for our selves?

What do you do when you find yourself surrounded by a fog of conflicting demands, a multiplicity of tasks that require your attention
Competing claims for your time?

Do you turn on your headlights to full beam as it were and crash on ahead, or do you turn your headlights down and look for the guiding light of the risen Lord to appear before you so that you can follow that light and leave behind the darkness and embrace the light?

Listen to this poem by Maya Angelou an African American poet – entitled Women’s work. It draws upon her reflections concerning Woman’s work that is never done and how from the beauy of nature, God’s creation, she is able to draw strenght, feel blessings and find her faith that in turn gave her the guidance and strength to continue in the jounry of her extra ordinary life………..

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.
Maya Angelou

By turning down the headlights
By slowing the thing down
By stopping and listening
maybe we will find that we are in a better position to see the Lord before us holding out his hands to us, looking upon us and giving us his peace, allowing us to be enfolded in his embrace.

When we are in the fog of our confusion, loss or fear, let us stop and turn away from own restlessness, let go of our endless but futile efforts and let God, yes to let go and let God.

When we stop speaking and start listening we will be far better placed to hear the still small voice of God calling to us – why are you frightened look it is me!
When our own search beam of questions and doubts is dipped we will stand a better chance of seeing the one one true light standing before us and giving us purpose and meaning in our life

When we put down our own hands and bow our head we will be more likely to feel the gentle touch of Jesus Christ as he embraces us offering us forgiveness and healing, offering us his new life.

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