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April 5, 2024


 

Have you ever heard of the post Easter blues? Yeah, me neither. And yet, I find myself in a bit of a funk this past week. Many of our staff here at White Oak have mentioned feeling something similar. Perhaps it’s because there was much preparation and prayer and work that went into the Easter season here at White Oak that coming off that busy high is a bit of a slump. We experienced so many wonderful moments over Holy Week. Moments of prayer, conversations, worship, reflection, gratefulness, baptism, and more. Truly an awesome season!

 

We see in Scripture what Jesus’s disciples were doing on the Saturday in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. They were hiding. Grieving. And then, Sunday came! They saw the resurrected Jesus and their grief turned to joy! Their hopes had been realized in ways they never could have imagined. Their Saturday slump turned to Sunday celebration!

 

But what about the following weeks? The Apostle John gives us a clue as to the state of their hearts and minds in days after the resurrection.

 

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. -John 21:1-3

 

Did you catch that? It’s subtle. And to be honest, we can’t be sure what was on the disciple’s minds and hearts. It appears, however, that they were going back to the same thing that had been doing prior to meeting Jesus. Fishing. They had been through the excitement of the resurrection, Jesus’s appearances, and his further teaching on the road to Emmaus. And then, fishing. I get a sense that they were at a loss as to what to do next. Jesus was alive! He is God! The Gospel News is real and powerful! So, what should we do with that experience and beautiful reality? Go fishing? Really.

 

You see, if we aren’t intentional, we’ll be apt to do the same thing. The Monday after Easter, or the days after, or the weeks and months that come after that glorious day can lead us straight back to where we were before that beautiful news met our eyes and hearts. We’re tempted to slump back into the life we were living and the faith we were practicing and the way we were following Jesus before we experienced that. It might be spending way too much time on Facebook or Netflix instead of concentrating time in prayer. It might be rushing off to the next thing with the kids instead of meaningful conversations with our children about the meaning and power of Holy Week. It might mean receiving the Gospel without much thought that it is Good News for everyone to hear. If we aren’t careful, we’ll go right back to what we know best. Fishing.

 

One person who is far wiser than me once said, “We don’t change from our experiences. We change when we reflect on our experiences.” I think there’s much truth in that. When we reflect and meditate and pray on the things we’ve experienced in the teaching, life, crucifixion, and the resurrection of Jesus… that’s when the Holy Spirit does some of His best work on our hearts. That’s when we see a shift in our attitudes and understandings. That’s when we unleash the potential of new habits and practices that connect us with God’s heart. That’s when our passion to serve and share faith with others is fueled.

 

Take time to reflect. I mean to really reflect on what you’ve heard, seen, and done through Christ. Let’s not go back to fishing. Let’s answer the call to a new life and purpose.

 

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Jesus

 

Reflectively,

Nathan

 


Nathan Hinkle

Lead Pastor

White Oak Christian Church





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