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Faith Daily | 23 April 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 502


Lord of all life and power,

who, through the mighty resurrection of your Son,

overcame the old order of sin and death

to make all things new in him:

grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you

in Jesus Christ,

may reign with him in glory;

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be praise, honour and thanksgiving, now and for all eternity.

Amen


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 16: 9-15


9 Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.


12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.


14 Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Peta-Anne Warwick


Do we not judge the validity of information according to the messenger? Mary Magdalene is the first person in the world to carry the message of the resurrection of Jesus but she is not believed. Is it because she is a woman or a consequence of her past? I wondered why the two disciples walking on the road were not considered believable. Luke’s gospel tells us that the 2 disciples returned to Jerusalem to tell the eleven. Ah ha! So they were not part of the inner circle! Is that why?


The significant thing here is that Jesus himself expected the eleven to believe before they saw him. The eyewitnesses were trustworthy persons and were reporting what they themselves had actually experienced, and that should have been enough to convince these disciples that Jesus was risen from the dead. The lack of faith of the disciples was a disappointment to Jesus.


In reality, the Resurrection is not easy to believe because it is extraordinary. Through his repeated appearances, Jesus convinces his disciples that he is raised from the dead. He then commands them to preach to the people and to testify that Jesus is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42).


The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central truth of our Christian faith. Yet faith in the risen Christ came slowly to some if not all of the disciples. But I see this as good news for me! Their testimony of “we didn’t believe it, but look what kept happening!” is reassuring.


In our day-to-day lives, Christians are assailed on every side by doubt. We cannot always feel God’s presence or understand his guidance. It takes faith to find God and faith to keep our eyes on Him so that we persevere (Hebrews 11:13-16), where faith is defines as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). And this is where we need to pray “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24) so we can recognise God working through good people amidst all the bad in this messy world.


Faith is increased by reading or hearing examples of faith in the Bible publicly expounded; by sharing in Christian fellowship, Church sermons and bible studies. Let us pray for Christians in locations where they are persecuted or not able to meet in reassuring, safe fellowship.


FINAL PRAYER (Rachel Olsen, https://www.womansday.com/life/g26399295/easter-prayers/)


Dear Lord,

May I realise afresh today what Your death and resurrection mean for me.

Forgiveness, freedom and the ability to walk with You through this fallen world to eternity.

May I always find my satisfaction in You and Your willingness to offer Yourself to me.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

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