I’ve said it before at certain times, but I believe there are many sermons God has you preach as a pastor that you have to experience for yourself. Sometimes whatever the particular teaching or takeaway point is for the sermon God will reinforce that in your life the particular week you are teaching it. This is what happened this past weekend without even me knowing it!
We talked about the exchange between the post-resurrection Jesus and Mary Magdalene in John 20. She’s so excited to finally see that it’s Jesus that all she wants to do is embrace him. Here is his response: “Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” This is kind of a weird response from Jesus as you would expect him to tell her, “Come near to me.” But instead, he says, “Don’t touch me.”
Jesus understood how important Mary’s mission was. She was to be the one to share with the apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead and was alive again! He’s telling her: There will be time later to embrace me…but for now, get to work and here’s your job! Go tell people I’m alive!
Charles Spurgeon said, “Sometimes it is a higher service to go to see the sick than to be at home on your knees. Sometimes it is a more devout way of serving God to be busy for the Church, even in what seems to be temporal matters, than to be seated at home, like Mary of old, at the feet of the Savior, listening to His words, but doing nothing for His cause.”
Essentially what Jesus is teaching Mary here is that there is a time to embrace and a time to get to work. Sometimes getting to work is worship. In fact, it is the purest form of worship there is!
This past week was one of the busiest of the year for me. It always is when we throw two massive parties for our community for Trunk ‘R Treat’s. As a result, I didn’t have too much time to “embrace” or work on my message for Sunday. And sure enough, God came through in a big way on Sunday. He gave me the words to say and I believe the message had a big impact. I didn’t realize it until it was over, but the Lord knew my work was more important last week, and as a result, He gave me the words to say that Sunday morning!
I hope this encourages you today…get to work…for later, we will get to embrace our Lord and Savior as long as we want to. And by the grace of God, many others will be able to as well through the work that God does through us! Go tell the brothers and sisters, “Jesus is alive and He’s coming back!”