“They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them.”
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
Notice how Jesus shows up amongst the disciples. He does not wait for the disciples to come looking for him, but he goes to them. He does not ask them why they have not come looking for him. He does not condemn them or blame them but enters the room where they are – in the state they are in – and simply speaks words of peace.
There are two things that we can reflect on today. First, God always takes the initiative. So often, we think that it is all up to us, but it is not. God will take the initiative if we are willing to be surprised by God. Often, we do not notice when God is taking the initiative because we can be so wrapped up in our own lives or trying to do things our way that we do not give God the space to surprise us.
Second, many of us have been taught that we need to have it all in order before we can come before the Lord. We think that we have to put ‘our best foot forward’ or be ‘perfect’. We spend much time and energy – often working very dutifully – to make sure all of ‘me’ is in order. In this text, it is precisely when the disciples are in a mess, when they do not have all in order, when it feels as if the world around them is collapsing, that Jesus comes to them! They had fled when Jesus was arrested. Peter had denied him. None of them was at the cross except John the beloved and they did not believe that Jesus had risen. Their future was uncertain, and they must have felt the tension and trauma of all that was happening. It is at this moment, in the midst of their mess, that Jesus comes amongst them.
We do not have to have all in order – or be perfect – to turn to the Lord. In fact, it is probably better when we turn to God in the mess and confusion of our lives. It is then that we are most authentic.
Look back on your life. When has God taken the initiative and shown up when you least excepted? Can you come to God in the mess of your life, can you dare to allow God to enter your imperfection, can you authentically be who you are before God?