Text: John 16:16-33
For good cheer in times of struggle
For clarity in the Word
Our lessons during this week have shared the theme of suffering as a part of their focus. That may strike you as odd, given that these lessons are for the second week of Easter! Yet we Christians need to remember what St. Peter said in his first letter: “beloved, do not be surprised at the ordeal that comes upon you…” (1 Peter 4:12).
Easter, because it is victory, shows us that Jesus’s sufferings have ushered in God’s good purposes, and its joy is ours forever. Easter gives us freedom and strength even in affliction. Therefore, we train ourselves to not be distraught at earthly loss, nor to be overjoyed at earthly pleasures. At the end of the passage in John, Jesus warns the disciples that the time is approaching when the disciples will be scattered to the four compass points—and that moment came very soon! The call to us is the same as that long-ago call to them: you are in my love, therefore prepare, learn the ways of Christ, and do not be afraid, for your current anguish will give way to wondrous joy.
Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks