Year C – Easter 4 | Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30
The story of Tabitha continues the Easter message: choose Jesus! She clearly did. She devoted her life to doing good things. The widows made sure Peter saw evidence of her dedication to service. Her resurrection from the dead perpetuates the story of Jesus’ own resurrection. There is life to be lived when we choose Jesus.
Psalm 23 is one those iconic portions from scripture known beyond the Church. The Church’s Lord is none other than Jesus Christ. When we choose Jesus, we find leadership that ensures our needs are met. Those needs include discipline. Often today the pastoral care aspect of “rod and staff” are ignored. Yet it is through reproof and rebuke wisdom is found. There is balance in life when we choose Jesus.
Choosing Jesus does not mean you escape life’s trials. This week’s reading from Revelation reminds us of that point. Our Shepherd was slaughtered and many sheep follow him into death. And that is okay for “salvation belongs to … the Lamb!” There is a purpose to live when we choose Jesus.
The gospel gives us a disturbing fact: those that should choose Jesus do not. Jesus presented God in a way that was hated, not loved. He forced religious leaders then and he forces religious peoples today to make a choice. Perhaps the audacity to force that choice is what bothers people? It appears religious persons somehow manage to “tame God” in such a way where they can live their daily lives without God effecting their choices. They are religious but not Christian. Jesus forces choice and there is Christianity in life when you choose Jesus.