easter monday

The grief and horror of Good Friday are almost unimaginable. The silence and sadness and emptiness of that Saturday are literally unspeakable. And then the thrill, the awe, the utter joy of Easter Sunday morning. Jesus appears to them and the hopelessness of the heartbreaking weekend …is no more.

But what about Monday? They know Jesus isn’t dead….but he’s not really “with” them either. They decided to follow Jesus and stay near him, and then he left them alone. They used to just wait for Jesus’ instructions for the day and obey him. But on Monday that is no longer true.

What do you do when the rules change? What happens when you don’t see the plan or have any clue what the next step looks like? The disciples will have fifty days to wait before they begin to see the plan. What did they do with those fifty days until Pentecost? The Crucifixion and Resurrection were events that were out of their control; they could only emotionally respond. The fifty days of Pentecost test their faith when they don’t understand what God is doing.

What do you do with the “in between” times of your life? You want to do the right thing, and you have no idea what that is. You want to be obedient, but your connection to God, your ability to hear from him, is occasional and inconsistent. What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

As I study their response during this time, I see two important lessons we need to remember when we are in an “in between” time. One is that they stayed together. Jesus had organized them into a group and they found strength in fellowship with each other. We know that a week after Easter, they were all still together in Jerusalem. We know that seven of them went up to Galilee for a fishing trip. And we know that they were all together at Pentecost as they were filled with the Holy Spirit that enabled them to understand what God wanted from each of them in the immediate future and empowered them to do mighty miracles in God’s name.

They also remained obedient to what they did know. Just because they didn’t see the big picture or have clear understanding of the next step, didn’t mean that all Jesus had said wasn’t true. They didn’t immediately run to pagan altars because that “Jesus” thing didn’t work out like they thought. They didn’t return home and put that “Jesus” phase of their lives behind them. They obeyed what they knew to be true until they received new instruction.

And so must we. Unlike the disciples, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. But like the disciples we sometimes find ourselves at moments when we don’t know what to do next, when we want to be obedient, but have no idea what that looks like. Seek the fellowship of godly people and obey what you do know until God reveals your next step. Joyfully anticipate that the one who promised to never leave you is about to do something new through you.