What brings terror to your day? For me, often I feel seized with terror when it is my turn to do the children’s sermon on Sunday morning. Something about 50 kids running down to get the best seats on the steps just terrifies me. Let me hang out with a 100 junior high kids at a lock-in, that seems so much easier and less terrifying.
Now let’s be clear. I do worry about terror. Terrorism. But, honestly, it feels far removed from my daily life. I can try and imagine what some good folks have gone through in recent events related to terror. But it just does not bring terror to my being.
The Gospel of Mark is my favorite. Maybe because it is short and everything happens “immediately” Marl’s Gospel easily captures my ADD soul. But something that has always gotten my attention is the ending. The tomb is empty on Easter morning. And everybody runs away in terror. End of story. Or is it?
I’ll be honest, it is hard to follow Jesus if you are a Youthworker. So many things get in the way. Paying the bills. Pleasing people. Making calendars. Balancing budgets. I mean, it sure looks like we follow Jesus, right? We carry our Bibles everywhere. We do service projects. We go on mission trips several times a year. We have prayer lists. We visit youth in the hospital. We even went down to serve homeless youth last month. It looks good on paper, right?
But you and I both know something is missing. We are just not “feeling” it. Can I get am amen?
And then I think back to Ash Wednesday. Terror can get a hold of me: those angry parents, my upset senior pastor, my family who feels ignored. Maybe I value the wrong things.
Then I read Scripture: “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them…”
In my daily youthwork, the things that bring me terror seldom bring me amazement. Children’s sermons, terror yes…..AND amazement. I am always amazed at the youngest voice proclaiming the love of God in Jesus Christ! Something for me changes in those moments when terror AND amazement exist as co-equals.
“….they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”
Maybe as Youthworkers we need to allow amazement creep into our terror a little more often. Mark’s story ends at 16:8. But the Good News does not. Eventually, the amazement took over and something changed. Lives were reversed. Fear subsided. Terror was overcome. How do I know this? Because this morning, I will be joining all of you in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. God has defeated death and sin. Terror & Amazement. Those things that we fear most, God has already dealt with it. We are God’s.
Feeling Terror? Let yourself be amazed again with the power of resurrection.
Just a little faith and we can live like Easter empowered Youthworkers all year long. Are you changed? Are you stronger? You are able. Grace gives you the strength to overcome terror with amazement and truly follow Jesus. And, I think you will find yourself empowering and equipping your youth for the same amazing journey with Jesus.
Are you ready? It is Easter. Let’s go!
Peace and Grace,
Charles W. harrison