Devotional

Sorrow to Joy

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In the sermon this past week, our Ministry Director Marcia Partin talked about Jesus’ encounter with Mary Magdalene after the resurrection.  She spent some time talking about how Mary might have felt in the moments right before her Jesus encounter. In the past, Jesus had cast out seven demons out of Mary.  Her old life was transformed, she left it behind and followed him. Mary traveled with Jesus as he taught and performed miracles — we can be certain that she did not think that later she would be watching him hang on the cross.  She couldn’t have imagined she would be spending time at his tomb and certainly not at the empty tomb. For Mary, in that moment, the empty tomb meant that her Savior was gone and she couldn’t even be near him to grieve. But Jesus came to her there and called her name.  When she heard her name, Mary’s sorrow turned to joy! She fell at his feet and worshiped him! Jesus then told her to tell the others what she had seen.

 Often we may find ourselves in situations like Mary where we don’t understand why things are turning out the way they are!  We don’t see how God is present! But Jesus says, as we follow him, we can trust Him to be with us – he is faithful, he has overcome death, and he sends us with joy to tell others this truth!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What are some ways people may be grieving right now as many are having struggles during this time as our whole world is battling Covid-19 in different ways – on the front line, alone at home, or adjusting to a new normal with a full house at home. How have you seen others or how have you been able to grieve difficult times?

When Jesus called Mary’s name she was in the garden, near the tomb.  She had followed faithfully – with Jesus at the cross, and coming early in the morning with spices for His body.  Mary’s faithful obedience to that point put her in the right place to be the first to see her risen Savior face to face!  Are there things we can do as followers of Jesus to better be able to see him working in the world?  What are some things we can do to remind us of God’s power, provision, and care in difficult times?

Mary’s joy when she saw Jesus was alive led her to worship Him and obey Him when Jesus told her to go and tell the others. Think about a time you had a Jesus encounter big or “small” write it down and share it with others.

REFLECTION

Remembering God’s promises help us to have hope in difficult situations!  The bible is full of promises of God’s care for you even in difficult situations that don’t seem to be working out the way we imagined.  Look up these verses as you spend time with this week to help remind you of God’s promises! Choose one of them to spend more time with this week – write out the verse and post it somewhere that you will see it often and commit it to memory.

Jeremiah 29:11 Proverbs 3:5-6
Romans 8:26-27Matthew 7:9-12
Romans 8:28 Psalm 130

SPEAK OUT LOUD AND KEEP IN MIND

“Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”

– Psalm 130:7 NIV

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