Scripture Reading:

Matthew 28:1-10

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Matthew 28:8

One of the most exciting outings for a church youth group is a trip to an amusement park. I remember taking a group on a trip like that when I lived in Michigan. I’m not a big fan of roller coasters, but I climbed onto one called the Top Thrill Dragster. That roller coaster went from 0 to 120 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds and would take its riders 420 feet up in the air. It was an amazing ride that I never want to go on again. It was exhilarating and frightening at the same time.

As the women left the tomb on the morning that Jesus had risen from the dead, they were filled with both fear and joy. They had come to the tomb looking for Jesus’ body, and instead they met a mighty angel, who said that Jesus had risen. Seeing the angel and not finding what they were figuring on made them afraid. But hearing that their friend, teacher, and Lord had risen from the dead gave them joy.

Fear can often be accompanied by joy. Our lives can be filled with fear about all sorts of things—fear about our health, our jobs, or our future. But our lives can be filled with joy about the same things as well—our health, careers, and future. We can be both afraid of our future and joyful about our future possibilities. The next time fear overtakes you, ask God to help you find a reason to be joyful as well. Our future is in his hands.

Father of joy, when fear seems all too present, help us to see that we can also rejoice in the fact that you hold us in your hands. We rejoice in you. Amen.

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