Real or Hype?

Today’s scripture: Mark 16:9-13 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

Most of the disciples reacted with skepticism when Mary told them that Jesus had appeared to her. Was this because their spirits were devastated at the loss of their friend and teacher? Was it because they were not ready to hear any news of Jesus return — as he had spoken of before his death — because they were so focused on their grief? Or was it because Jesus had not appeared to them?

Every day we’re bombarded with infomercials and ads for products, wonder foods and supplements that are supposed to make us stronger, look younger, live longer, lose weight, get smarter, look like movie stars, and get richer. So, where are all these smarter, thinner, good looking people we see in these ads? But people keep buying it, even though we know the ads, pictures and testimonials are misleading us to get us to spend our money!

Perhaps we can be like the disciples and lack faith and not believe anything we are told. But Jesus had changed their lives. They all had witnessed lives changed, the miracles, and Jesus’ teachings. It wasn’t just some infomercial that was “staged”; this was real life for them! Why were the women able to believe it was the same Jesus they knew all along? If I were there, would I have believed like Mary or doubted like the Disciples?

We have the blessing of the entire Bible and our Christian ancestors to help us know and understand the presence of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. When we take the time to be quiet with God and listen to what God has to say to us, we can also experience the presence of Christ today, moving our hearts and minds in the direction that Christ taught. As we pray, and as we seek Christ’s presence and guidance, our hearts are shaped and transformed into being more like Christ.

So let’s evaluate ourselves. Am I doubting what Jesus can do in my life, or am I actively seeking Christ, asking for my heart to be transformed in his love and grace? Then ask yourself this question: How am I doing with Jesus’ great commandments? Do I love God with everything that I am? Do I love my neighbor, and others, as myself? How does this transformation show itself? Is it real, or is it an infomercial?

Prayer for the day: God, I pray that I can have faith that will allow me to experience the risen Christ, so that my life can be in a “transforming” state to be more like Jesus. Amen.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.