The Light, The Way, The Wait – Luke 24:49 (NIV)
by Elizabeth Vincent

49 " I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Easter, the celebration of the risen Christ. The story is now familiar. Jesus dies by crucifixion on Friday. His body is taken away by devout followers, hastily prepared, and laid in a nearby, vacant tomb. The Sabbath intervenes.

As daylight approaches on that next day, the third day, women go to the tomb to mourn, to honor their beloved Rabbi. He’s not there – more confusion and increased fear. How alone these followers of Jesus must have felt. How hopeless. How angry that once again they are abandoned – or felt that they are abandoned.

In the gospel of Luke, we read possibly the most detailed account of the crucifixion and the days following it. There is the tomb scene, there are the doubting disciples who return to the tomb, then there is the appearance of Jesus first on the road to Emmaus and then to the disciples in Jerusalem. Finally, the minds of these followers are opened to what has happened. A light shines on their path forward, but they must wait a little longer before walking that path. They are to wait until they “have been clothed with power from on high.” They are to wait until the strength of the Holy Spirit fills their beings with the enthusiasm, confidence, and strength to move forward. The goal is before them, but now is the time to rally/to renew their inner resources for the journey.

Last year, I had the joy of painting rocks with some dear friends in preparation for Easter. (See above for Oma's Rock.) The design painted by one of these friends seems to hold the Easter story. A tomb – opened. The chains binding us in darkness – finally breaking away. Our “wings,” strengthened, lift us into the light and a new path.

Today the Easter story still breathes as we face the journey down our unexpected and new path.  

Precious God, thank you for your gift of the promised Messiah who shines light on the path ahead. Open our minds to the lessons of his life and teachings. And, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit, sent to strengthen us for the journey and guide us along that path. Open our hearts to receive and honor these gifts with our choices and behavior. Keep us mindful of your encompassing love – the love that conquers fear and anger – the love that brings to us and all those around us your joy and everlasting peace.