John 20:1-10

Nearly a year ago we noticed our daughter, Sarah, had a pesky habit of sitting way too close to the TV. Sarah would always exclaim, “it’s fuzzy momma, it’s fuzzy.”  The moment Sarah struggled to identify letters in preschool, we knew it was time for glasses.  How would my husband and I convince a 4-year-old to keep her glasses on?  Well, now, little Sarah won’t go anywhere without them. Why?  Because in her words, “Mom, the world’s not fuzzy anymore.”

FUZZY FAITH

That’s how it is with God sometimes.  We may believe in God, but faith is fuzzy. We have moments where we can’t see what’s in front of us, weeks where we don’t know what to do with our job, our kids, our education or our future.  But we’re in good company.   Those first followers of Jesus experienced fuzzy faith, too. When their friend, mentor and savior Jesus was mobbed, flogged, sentenced and crucified–their hope, future and vision hung on a tree for all the world to see. Everything they thought they knew about the world went out the window.

But then it got worse:

 “… Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:1)

Can you imagine?  You are already grieving, and now the body of your best friends has been taken – STOLEN.

“So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place…” (John 20:3-7 NIV).

RUNNING…   

 Are you running?  Frantic, panicked, looking for hope? It’s ok… just hold on… faith is a slow unfolding with LOTS OF SQUINTING ALONG THE WAY.

There’s a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS).  The RAS works like this: Take buying a car, for example. Suddenly it feels like everyone has the same car as you do. It’s because you’ve put on glasses (RAS) for that particular make and model.   

“Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (But they still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)” (John 20: 8-9NIV).

He saw and believed – believed what? Believed the entire new testament? Believed all the things he’d ever heard Jesus say? Probably not.  John didn’t have it all figured out, especially resurrection, and at this point there was no way to wrap his head and heart around it all. But, John’s faith now had an awareness filter (RAS). He saw the folded grave clothes, and the evidence of new life opened his mind to new possibilities.

SEEING IS BELIEVING

Faith in Jesus is about putting your glasses on. It’s a journey of seeing new possibilities, new life and second chances.  But don’t take my word for it. Maybe (this person’s) story can help you see see a little more clearly

Jesus, my faith has felt fuzzy.
Forgives me of my mistakes and missteps.
Open my eyes. Help me to see.
I commit to following you.
To trust you as my faith unfolds one step at a time.
In Jesus name, Amen.  

Christ the Lord is Risen, he is risen indeed. AMEN.

Rachel Billups 1 Senior Pastor Visionary 300x300

Rachel Billups
Ginghamsburg Senior Pastor
rachel@ginghamsburg.org