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Shocked and Excited, then Zealous!!

 By Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick

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Dear CME Family:

          Every miracle is not prayed for.  Some miracles are simply given by a benevolent God who loves all!

          The way I see it is:  early in the morning “before it was dawn” on the first day of the week almost 2000 years ago, women who were going to a grave in bereavement and grief were shocked to find the grave disturbed!  Someone had moved the stone away!

          They had contemplated in their minds and talked aloud as they walked about “Who will roll the stone way?”  But they need not have worried about it.

          Yes, they first were shocked!  I’m sure their minds raised all kinds of questions:  “What’s going on?!”  “Who disturbed his grave?”  “Who hated him this much that they would disturb him in death?”  “What’s next?!!  What’s next?!!”

          And as they slowly moved forward, they saw the body was gone, and then they heard the angel say, “He is not here!  He has risen, as He said!”

          First, shock!  Then, excitement!

          Has God ever shocked you with unexpected good news?  Have you been told what was impossible for you to do, only to discover that you were “already chosen” to receive that which was said to be “impossible”?  to be blessed by one of God’s miracles?

          Ah!  They went to anoint a dead body, only to discover that there is no body because this talk of resurrection was real!  And then they were told, “Go your way … tell His disciples and Peter that He goes before them into Galilee!  There you will see Him!”  The King James Version says, “neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.”  In those words (“for they were afraid”), I hear the writer saying that they were awed!   (That may not mean so much to us today because now almost EVERYBODY says, “Awesome!”  “Awesome!”  But I find very few things truly awesome!  For me, God alone is awesome!)

          Yes, they were excited!

          But third, they were also zealous!   Zealous means enthusiastic, passionate, strongly committed to something, fervent about it!!  What, if any things, are you zealous about?  They went about doing what the angel had commissioned them to do!  And they did it because they wanted to do it!

          Their morning was shocking, exciting, thrilling, and empowering!  In the strength of those words – “He is not here!  He is risen!” – these first witnesses (the women at the tomb) rose and went to begin the greatest story of the last two centuries!  God had met their faithfulness to duty with an unexpected miracle!

          Be faithful.  In due season, God shows up!

Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick