2019 Advent Devo: Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead?

These were the words spoken by Angels to the women who had travelled to Jesus’ tomb a few days after his crucifixion. These are the words that defined a new reality in the world, then and forevermore. These are the words on which history was turned upside-down and these are the words that make Jesus’ story our story. These are the words of a resurrected and reigning Savior that make his ministry in the world today, you guessed it, alive.

As I read these words, I wonder how many times I have spoken or heard them yet have failed to grasp their true meaning because far too often when I have looked for Jesus, I have looked for him as someone who is dead and whose story has more in common with distant memories than with the active present. I recognize that many times I have read the story of God, sung songs and taken the memorial cup and bread, I have even celebrated Jesus’ birth with the whole world as if it all was purely an exercise in remembering someone who is separated from the here-and-now and only exists in memory. When I read and learn about God and expect nothing to happen, when I work so hard to serve Jesus by my own power, when I give up on people because they are beyond the hope of changing, I need an Angel to come down and ask me, “Why do you seek Jesus as if he is dead?!”

The story of Jesus from the tomb is a signal to all people who follow him from now until eternity and a reminder that we will not find Jesus the way we find old, dead things. We must find Jesus among the dynamic and living world, expecting him to be present in everything. When we read the word, we must realize that we are reading along with the Living Word! When we sing and take the Lord’s Supper, we are singing and taking the Lord’s Supper in the presence of the Living God! When we pray and talk and spend time with people, hoping that they recognize Jesus as King, we do so through the power of the Living Jesus!

So many of the things we do would have new life if we remember that we do them for a resurrected King who is on the throne of God in power, not a distant figure of the past. As we celebrate this Advent season, we can be reminded that the story that began so long ago is not finished and that the life we celebrate in Jesus goes on, empowering us to expand his eternal reign now and forevermore. Amen!

You are loved!
Jon Cooke