Today's Reading: John 16:23-33
[Jesus said,] "In the world you have tribulation, but take heart, I Myself am conquering the world." (John 16:33)
He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There's nothing in the world that should get you down--not cancer, not terrorism, not being accepted by those around you, not making it into college. There's not one thing that should make you worry or doubt. Jesus has died and risen!
But we do worry, and we do doubt. Sometimes we really struggle with that. We need to repent of all that, turn from it. You can take this to heart, dear Christian: Jesus has died and risen!
Outside of Jesus, it's a cold, hard universe. But Jesus' death and resurrection has completely changed the universe, and it changes your world, too! Think about it: Jesus was dead--flatlined. Then He was alive again! He unites you to Himself and His universe-changing event.
There's nothing that can truly get you down. Yes, you may die, but Jesus will raise your body from the dead. You may struggle with those around you, but you never struggle with Jesus. He's alive right now, and He will never leave you or turn His back on you. That's what your Baptism says.
All the ups and downs of life can be received as a gift, because Jesus will turn them good. In the same way sports practice toughens you for the game, every hardship is used to make you more like Jesus.
Jesus suffered, died, and was buried. Yes, there's tribulation, hardship, struggle in this life, and then we'll die and be buried. But Jesus didn't stay dead, and neither will you.
The tribulation you have can't get you down--at least not forever. You'll live forever. In Jesus you already do. The Father knows the exact moment He'll bring life from death for you.
You're baptized. Nothing changes that. Jesus' tomb was empty. Yours will be, too. Your baptism says so. Somedays it seems like that promise all you've got, but it means Jesus has you forever. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God our Father, from whom all good things do come, grant to us, Your humble servants, that by Your holy inspiration we may think those things that be right and by Your merciful guiding may perform them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Savior, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for Easter 6)