Too Good To Be True?

Too Good To Be True?
Luke 24:36-43
Tamika Brown
Have you ever received some unexpected, really great news? Received an unexpected gift? Or been approved for something you applied for? What was your reaction? Be honest. Was it joy or was it doubt? If it was joy, about how long did it take before you started to question it?
 
For many of us, there is something about the trials and tribulations of this life that make it nearly impossible to simply be excited, to be joyous in times of personal or collective triumph. For some reason even in our highest moments we wonder: Is this too good to be true? This is the exact place we find the disciples in this text.
 
Before we get into the text, let’s pause for an explanatory comma about Eastertide. What is this season we’re in? Eastertide is a period of fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. It’s a time to remember that Jesus wasn’t in a rush to ascend, but that he spent time appearing to his disciples and preparing them for Pentecost. This is an extended time to joyfully celebrate the resurrection.

In the text though, the disciples are anything but joyful when Jesus firsts appears before them. As a matter of fact, that went through all sorts of emotions prior to landing at joy. And isn’t this just like us?!?! We get good news, we get the job we wanted, our relationships progress and no sooner do we get the thing we prayed for – doubt sets in. The reasons for this are another blog for another day though.

The disciples were startled and frightened, and Jesus asked them (v38) “why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your mind?” In other words, as professed believers, why do feel that my return, my presence is too good to be true? I think this is a perfect question for each of us during Eastertide and beyond.

It takes profound faith (in humanity and in divinity) to surrender ourselves to joy. Let’s grab our prayer journals and really meditate on these things:

  • What brings us joy?
  • How do we bring joy to others? To our community?
  • In the face of joy, why are we doubtful?
  • What keeps us from reveling in joy-filled moments?
  • What is it about joy that makes us fearful?
  • How can we change/correct these feelings of doubt/mistrust?

Prayer: Most gracious and merciful God, through your grace increase our faith. Help us to remember that as your creation, we are meant for more than suffering. Remind us to reflect on the joyous moments and through those moments, share your goodness. In Jesus name, Amen.

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