With fear and joy

The Easter news shook the world up with fear and joy at the same time. Easter is God’s big shake-up. The angel told the women that Easter morning, “He is not here and has been raised from the dead.” The women “left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy.” The first emotions of Easter were fear and joy. Can you think of news that shook you with those two emotions simultaneously? News that was so good it also scared you.

It was a Sunday morning several years ago. I was in my office and running a bit late for worship. It was 10:58 am and worship began at 11 am. I could hear the prelude on the organ beginning. One of my worst fears is to show up late to worship. I threw on my preaching robe and was racing out of my office, and suddenly I heard my office phone ringing. I wasn’t going to answer it, but that phone never rang. I thought, “What if it’s somebody important?” 

So I hurried to the phone and looked at the caller ID. I saw the name “Jesus Christ” on the caller ID. It looked like Jesus was on the other line. I froze! What if? I was curious to know who was on the other end of the line. If it was Jesus, what did he want? Did I need to change my sermon? I picked up the phone and answered in my most angelic voice, “Hello,” shaking as I awaited the person on the other line. 

The person on the other line said, “Yes, this is Mike from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Do you have a moment?” 

I said, “Mike, but I don’t, but I have never been so happy to hear from the Mormon church.” 

Do you know what I experienced that morning? Fear and joy at the same time. I feared hearing the God of the universe speaking directly to me, and I also felt a charge of hope that the savior of the world was speaking directly to me. 

That’s the feeling Easter evokes too. The God of the universe rose again in Jesus Christ. Jesus is alive. Jesus may not call us on a direct line, but the risen Christ will come calling to each of us.

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