1 Peter 3:15b-16 "And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ."
Last week we wrestled with the question of how we know if our faith is strong. We empathized with those disciples on the road to Emmaus on Easter Sunday evening (Luke 24:13-35) shaken to their very core, doubting everything they thought they believed. But then Jesus came along and showed them who he was.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of King James of England authorizing the translation of the Bible commonly known as the King James Version. He commissioned six committees (42 men, no women) to come up with a common translation of the Bible that would be the standard text of the realm. Their work began in 1604 and was completed in 1611.
So how long did your Easter high last? Do you know what I'm talking about - that rush of spirituality that just seems to be in the air around Easter - with all the special music and the attention to religion given - even on TV? It all comes together to get the Christian's heart burning with excitement, with love, with joy and hope.
Every year, Easter is such a high, singing hymns celebrating the victory Jesus has won for us. I pray you had a chance to get to church and enjoy the excitement of joining with others celebrating the gift of life we've been given.
Last week, we noticed the difference between the soldiers (Jesus' enemies) and the women (Jesus' friends) at the tomb that first Easter Sunday morning. The soldiers fainted in fear. The women listened to God's word and found joy. Here's Matthew 28:5: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Yeah right. Try telling that to the man being mauled by a bear, or the woman about to be hit by a car, or anyone facing a life-threatening danger. Just telling them they don't have to fear it doesn't quite do the job.